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Sociology Lecture #15.docx - Sociology Lecture#15 Health...

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Sociology Lecture #15 Health and Society Health and medicine seem to be rooted in biology but we realize there are social factors involved Patterns of well-being and illness are rooted in society Society shapes people’s health in four major ways: o Cultural patterns define health – usually what is seen as healthy reflects what is seen as morally good within any culture or society o Cultural standards of health change over time – in the past smoking was seen as trendy but not its viewed as unhealthy behaviours, homosexuality used to be in the book of diagnostics as a disease and has now been removed, sports seen as a healthy activity however we are now aware of risks in terms of concussion can reframe sports as unhealthy o A society’s technology affects people’s health – poor sanitation and malnutrition helps spread disease, technology which monitors this affects people’s health, many technologies advance and both hinder health, ex: industrialization increases pollution o Social inequality affects people’s health – rich have better physical and mental health and live longer, have more resources including access to medical help, doctors, gym memberships, healthy produce, etc. Medical Sociology Medical sociology is based on the view that medical practices and beliefs are intensely social Medical sociology draws on political sociology and critical sociology Political sociology: o Seeks to generate sociological data to develop health care policies o Seeks to improve delivery of health care from sociological informed research Critical Sociology is a critical examination of the practices of pharmaceutical companies, medical schools, and health care providers Healing is achieved through social factors o Race gender, ethnicity, class, affect an individual’s experience of medical professions o Can be in terms of accessing these professions for care and in terms of those providing those professions as well Talcott Parsons (structural functionalist) Book titled “The Social System”, the concept of the patient or sick role Being sick is a social role that role comes with a set of expectations o Regulates what a sick person can expect from society o Regulates what society should expect of the sick person
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The Sick Role Four expectations of the sick (or patient) role o Should be exempted from normal social responsibilities o Should be taken care of instead of having to take care of themselves o Are socially obligated to try to get well o Are socially obligated to seek technically competent help Much like other structural functionalist theories there is a presumed social uniformity of experience, due to this expectation others have made additions and criticized Parsons expectation of the Sick Role Additions to the Sick Role E.L. Koos (1954) critiqued Parson’s view of the sick role The sick role is not the same for everybody o the higher one’s class the easier it was for them to play the sick role o
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