Culture and environment

Do you have any healthy habits? What role have culture and environment played in the healthy or unhealthy habits that you have formed?Theme:

2Choose a society from the map. Within that society, characterize one of the social science principles we identified in this learning block. As a reminder, the social science principles we focus on in this course are social roles, social institutions, social norms, and beliefs and values.

Provide an example of the environment influencing the population in an area of increased longevity. Then provide an example of the population in that area influencing its environment.

Think about factors affecting your lfestyle in comparison to the areas of increased longevity. Characterize two social science principles in your day-to-day life. Use the two principles that you did not describe in response to the earlier question. For example, you could describe some social norms in your day-to-day life

This is for question 2

Okinawa, Japan is one of the poorest regions of Japan; however, the population is one of the longest-lived in the world. This area has remained relatively isolated from the rest of the population, and the lifestyle has been fairly resilient to change. As a result, the population of this region in Japan has unique culture characterized by a different language, type of religion, social structure, and social norms (Wilcox et al., 2013).

Here, the people live with a sense of Ikigai, or “that which makes life worth living.” Despite the fact that many people retire in their mid 50’s or early 60’s, retirees remain engaged in their communities by tending to gardening or becoming involved in art projects (Matsumoto, 2011). Women hold a special social role within Okinawan society; they are often viewed as respected spiritual leaders, keeping them engaged in the societal functioning well into old age. Women are also largely responsible for organizing family events and gatherings, a responsibility that is taken very seriously. Families are often large and live within close vicinity of one another, offering a strong sense of social support.

Okinawan diets are low in calories, but high in nutrition. Common foods include bitter cucumbers, tofu, eggs, pork, and onbu seaweed. They also incorporate seafood, such as various types of fish, octopus, and squid (Wilcox et al., 2013).

Not only do the Okinawans live longer, they have lower incidence rates of age-related illnesses, such as dementia, heart disease, stroke, and chronic lung disease (Okinawan Centenarian Study, n.d.).


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