Silencing the Self Across Cultures by Dana Crowley Jack and Alisha Ali describes the harms involved with not standing up for oneself or one’s needs. Women will often silence themselves when molding to their partner’s wishes, in order to keep relational harmony, or to internalize thoughts that may upset their partner. While the practice of silencing the self (or STS) is seen all over the world, the implications for women in developing countries is devastating. Women in developing countries who STS place themselves at huge risk for health issues and furthering the disparities that is an accepted part of a country’s culture.
The concept of STS made me think of the concept of disembedding mechanisms that Anthony Giddens so frequently refers to throughout The Consequences of Modernity. Giddens describes a disembedding mechanism as the process of taking a concept from one country and “lifting [it] out of social relations from local contexts of interaction and their restructuring across indefinite spans of time-space.”
For my final paper, I am interested in expanding on the idea of globalization and health care. We say we live in a completely globalized world, but when you look at healthcare disparities among countries, it’s sometimes hard to believe that. For example, can we really say that a sub-Saharan African country has benefitted from the process of globalized healthcare, in terms of technology and discoveries? I began to think of the concept of equality among healthcare between developed and developing countries. Women living in developing countries are more likely to participate in STS, especially because these women are more likely to have arranged marriages. They are expected to obey the requests of their husbands and keep their feelings to themselves. When you look at this through the lense of health, many women do not receive proper treatment for the mental and physical ailments. Whatever little healthcare options people living in these areas have available are usually reserved for men. I see culture as a disembedding mechanism when it comes to healthcare because it simply cannot be generalized from place to place; we could not simply put American culture into India and expect it to overlap, regardless of how much globalization brings our world together.