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(3,643 words)

Author(s): Prohl, Inken
Illness as a Social Construct 1. ‘Illness’ denotes actual or perceived disturbances of the body, mind, or soul, accompanied by hardship, pain, alterations of body or mind, and a transformed perception of self and the environment. Illness and health are not, however, only bodily and mental facts; they are also social constructs. Which bodily or mental alterations are interpreted as illness, the origins of illness, and how illness is to be healed, all depend on the conceptions of a given society and hi…


(1,122 words)

Author(s): Prohl, Inken
1. Spirits are supernatural beings of neither unambiguously human nor divine origin. It is difficult to distinguish spirits, ghosts, and → demons, and their concepts are usually employed synonymously. The concept of spirit has a broad spectrum of meaning. Under the concept of ‘spirits,’ for instance, fall super-sensory beings and departed persons who tarry yet in the world of the living. A related notion is that of the ‘revenant’ (Fr., ‘coming back’), which names a person who has died an unjust,…