Type 2 Diabetes Education: Cultural Relevance to Native Americans in Tucson

How do Native Americans diagnosed with diabetes living in Tucson, Arizona talk about this disease? How is the language used to describe living with this disease different from the descriptions used by health care professionals trained in Western medicine? This issue will be explored by comparing the language urban Native Americans use to describe type 2 diabetes with the terminology and descriptions used by Western medical health care providers and in the educational pamphlets on diabetes distributed by these providers. The selection of different words reflects each group’s underlying concepts concerning disease and healing. By illustrating how cultural ideas are conveyed through word selection, it is possible to suggest the types of changes which could make these diabetes educational materials more culturally relevant to Native Americans residing in Tucson, Arizona.


Samantha Martin


Jennie Joe





Arizona State Museum: 

M9791 M36t
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences