Culture, Communication, and Health

A Guiding Framework

Authored by: Mohan J. Dutta , Ambar Basu

The Routledge Handbook of Health Communication

Print publication date:  April  2011
Online publication date:  August  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415883146
eBook ISBN: 9780203846063
Adobe ISBN: 9781136931673


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In her editorial in the American Journal of Public Health, Freimuth (2004) called for efforts to understand and incorporate complexities of culture beyond surface level cultural codes such as race and ethnicity in designing, implementing, and evaluating health communication strategies that seek to touch people’s lives. Cultural nuances derived from members of a target population factored into the design, implementation, and evaluation of health campaign efforts (Airhihenbuwa & Obregon, 2000) lead to more effective health interventions (Dutta, 2007). A campaign that seeks to promote healthy eating habits among African Americans, for example, may locate oral communication as a predominant communication pattern among members of the target population. Instead of labeling this cultural trait as a barrier to promoting healthy eating habits through written scripts, a culturally sensitive campaign will plan to use oral modes of communication to promote such healthy eating habits as consuming five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

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