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The Cultural Psychology of Suffering: The Many Meanings of Health in Orissa, India (and Elsewhere)



Abstract In this article, I honor Jerome Bruner's meaning-centered and person-centered approach to the study of cultural psychology by describing aspects of the cultural psychology of suffering in and around a Hindu temple town in Orissa, India. I also outline the “big three” explanations of illness (biomedical, interpersonal, and moral) on a worldwide scale and recount some of the many meanings associated with the word health, as in the English language survey question “How would you rate your overall health?” [cultural psychology; explanations of illness; meanings of health; Orissa, India]

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