What is cultural imposition?

Cultural imposition is defined as the tendency of an individual or a group to believe that their cultural values and beliefs should be dominant. That is why these people attempt to impose their behavioral patterns and values onto others.


The term of cultural imposition is principally related to the area of medicine and nursing in particular. According to western culture, the physical health of a person is of primary importance, and it should prevail over cultural peculiarities and spiritual health. A substantial number of patients are treated in the currently accepted paradigm while their cultural and religious beliefs concerning their health and medical assistance are not taken into consideration. The immunization of children may be regarded as a spectacular example of cultural imposition. A nurse may impose cultural values and established standards on the children’s family members unintentionally when she recommends vaccination and informs parents about potential diseases and issues concerning public schooling in the future. At the same time, parents and family members may be against this procedure due to their religious, cultures, or personal beliefs.

However, modern standards of nursing are subsequently changing this practice and integrate cultural humility and additional health practices that will be suitable for culturally-diverse patients. For instance, if an individual prefers alternative medicine, a competent nurse should consider this desire and include available alternative health practices into a patient’s treatment plan in case they do not negatively affect traditional treatment. Moreover, professional nurse practitioners should be certain that their diagnoses and prescribed treatment are not affected by their own cultural values as well. The trust-based interaction and balance between professional medical opinions and the cultural beliefs and values of both patients and nursing specialists are highly essential.

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