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Author:Maya Fischer (Aberdeen University)
Paper short abstract:
What does it mean to be healthy? Can a culturally bounded group of people be healthy or unhealthy together? This paper examines the collective construction of identity in Morocco and how, through colonialism, religion, and modernity, it has been referred to as ‘schizophrenic’ by key informants.
Paper long abstract:
What is cultural identity and how is it moulded? How does it change over time and what can affect it? This paper will examine cultural identity as a fluid and changing concept through two key case studies with young women in Rabat, Morocco in 2018. When asked about Moroccan identity, two separate informants described it as ‘schizophrenic’. In this discussion, I will discuss how anthropologists have looked at cultural identity in the past and what it means to identify as ‘unhealthy’. I will examine what it means to belong to a both a traditionally conservative group while also becoming in the modern world. I will explore how some Moroccan Muslims engaged with the concept of identity and wellness in everyday life, but also in broader contexts. Throughout this paper, it will become increasingly clear that our personal identities are constructed based on a myriad of factors and I argue that wellness, and illness, can be present both on the individual and group level.
Being healthy (or not) together: wellbeing as a form of cultural belonging I