Cultural Aspects of Tropical Medicine

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  • Department of Medical Geography, American Geographical Society

When I received the kind invitation to address this group on the cultural aspects of tropical medicine, I looked in my dictionary to see whether my own not too well defined ideas about culture were in accordance with the official views on the subject. I found that culture meant civilization. Hoping for further enlightenment, I looked up the word civilization, which proved to mean culture. Since the dictionary was no help, I decided to formulate my own ideas about the meaning of these words, and found that if my definition of culture is accepted, the task of discussing with you the cultural aspects of tropical medicine becomes much less formidable than it appeared at first. It is my found hope that you will share my views on this subject after this discussion is over.

Culture, to my mind, is the sum total of the traits and techniques that man acquires and develops in the process of adapting to the environment, and which reflects the degree of this adaptation.

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