Asthma, Culture, and Cultural Analysis: Continuing Challenges

  • Mike FortunEmail author
  • Kim Fortun
  • Brandon Costelloe-Kuehn
  • Tahereh Saheb
  • Daniel Price
  • Alison Kenner
  • Jerome Crowder
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 795)


Recent research indicates that asthma is more complicated than already recognized, requiring a multilateral approach of study in order to better understand its many facets. Apart from being a health problem, asthma is seen as a knowledge problem, and as we argue here, a cultural problem. Employing cultural analysis we outline ways to challenge conventional ideas and practices about asthma by considering how culture shapes asthma experience, diagnosis, management, research, and politics. Finally, we discuss the value of viewing asthma through multiple lenses, and how such “explanatory pluralism” advances transdisciplinary approaches to asthma.


Environmental health Transdisciplinarity Explanatory pluralism Anthropology of science Cultural frames Qualitative methods Compliance and cultural competency 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mike Fortun
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kim Fortun
    • 1
  • Brandon Costelloe-Kuehn
    • 1
  • Tahereh Saheb
    • 1
  • Daniel Price
    • 2
  • Alison Kenner
    • 3
  • Jerome Crowder
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Science and Technology StudiesSchool of Humanities, Arts, and Social Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA
  2. 2.Honors CollegeUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Department of History and PoliticsDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Institute for the Medical HumanitiesUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA

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