Soc Unit II - Sociology Notes Unit II Today Psychosocial...

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Sociology Notes Unit II  February 26, 2008 Today: Psychosocial Constructs/Factors Thursday: Violence Psychosocial factors—things inside your head influenced by social processes Powerlessness Alienation Misanthropy *   Hopelessness      (most important)—Susan Everson “queen of hopelessness” o Everyone wants to have meaning in their lives: people with no meaning have  high BP, get depressed easier, etc. o Hope is looking towards the future and believing that something good will come  in your life o Hopelessness is the feeling that nothing in the future is for you; when you move  into the future it doesn’t matter. People with these feelings begin acting in ways  that harm their future. They stop planning for things, not working, etc. This is a  “self-fulfilling” prophecy. o In relation to health, people behave in ways for short-term gratification, but long  term behavior is very bad; they don’t even care because they have no hope for  the future anyways!! E.g. Smoking: good now, bad for long-run Modern conceptions of ANOMY—anomy itself is not so much studied, these factors are studied There is a relation we feel about the world, our stress, and our bodies. The mind and the body  are INTERTWINED. Hopelessness is doing things in the brain that is affecting the chemicals in  our bodies. To measure hopelessness: give people a survey of only two questions and hopelessness is  measured by their response. Hopelessness can lead to depression; they are related but they  are two distinct things At this point, Psychosocial factors are the “z” factor between SES Health Lower levels of SES are related to high levels of Hopelessness HUGE ASSOCIATION between SES and Hopelessness Susan Everson “queen of hopelessness”—how Hopelessness can affect your health High hopelessness are 3X more likely to die Internal causes: diseases, infectious diseases (2X more likely to die) External causes: accidents, etc (3X more likely to die)
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More likely to have heart attacks and cancer, etc. Men who were more hopeless had MORE PLAQUE BUILDUP IN ARTERIES Demonstrating how a psychosocial factor (in your head) can affect your body TAKE HOME MESSAGE: don’t be hopeless!!! **Why are people with low SES  more  hopeless?? [Mechanisms we might uncover: SES leading to hopelessness (SES hopelessness)] 1) Inability to reach culturally prescribed goals     —our culture has a goal of making money,  etc. If you can’t reach these goals, you become hopeless 2) Unemployment     —people in low SES are at higher risk for unemployment. People who  are unemployed have high levels of hopelessness. Underemployment can also be 
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This note was uploaded on 11/03/2008 for the course SOC 354K taught by Professor Musick during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas.

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Soc Unit II - Sociology Notes Unit II Today Psychosocial...

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