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SOCY 1000 Chapter 19 - Chapter 19 Sociology and the Study...

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Chapter 19: Sociology and the Study of Medicine and Health Since medicine in the U.S. is a profession, bureaucracy, and a big business – Sociologists study how it is influenced by self-regulation, the bureaucratic structure, and the profit motive - They also study how illness and health are much more than biological matter; medicine is related to cultural beliefs, lifestyle, and social class - health and illness are defined by culture medicine – a society’s organized ways of dealing with sickness and injury 1941 – 3 components of health: physical, mental, social, and (*spiritual) Functionalist Perspective – if society is to function, its people need to be healthy enough to perform their roles Talcott Parsons – sick role – a social role that states you are (1) not responsible for being sick, (2) you are exempt from normal responsibilities, (3) you don’t like the role, (4) and you will seek competent help so you can return to your routines - it is often based on social considerations as opposed to physical - parents and physicians are the primary gatekeepers to the sick role - gender differences w/in the SR; women are more likely to claim the SR Conflict perspective – people’s struggler over/for health care Global stratification on health care – location determines what kind of health care, what diseases, life expectancy and mortality rates (ex. Industrialized vs. least industrialized nation) - as nations industrialize, health care and nutrition improve, and their citizens live longer Establishing a Monopoly on U.S. Health Care - medicine is only legal monopoly in the United States - professionalization of medicine – physicians began to (1) undergo a rigorous education; (2) claim a theoretical understanding of illness; (3) regulate themselves; (4) assert that they were performing a service for society (rather than just following self- interest); and (5) take authority over clients - monopoly – A group gained control over U.S. medicine set itself up as the medical establishment - get laws passed that restricted medical licensing only to graduates of schools they controlled - they limited competition, so that it paved the way big business - fee-for-service – payment to a physician to diagnose and treat a patient’s medical problems - made medicine a business
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- drove up the price of healthcare (whereas poor couldn’t afford it)
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