Lectures notes 827 and 829.docx - Lectures Notes 8/27 and 8/29 Sociology of medicine v sociology in medicine “Of:” Analysis through the

Lectures notes 827 and 829.docx - Lectures Notes 8/27 and...

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Lectures Notes 8/27 and 8/29 Sociology of medicine v. sociology in medicine: - “Of:” Analysis through the physician’s perspective, for example: rates of disease, etc. o Over the course of time, questions of social mechanisms that may contribute to explaining disease became of interest; for example: why do some groups live longer than another? - “In:” Focuses more on applying social theory and explanation to explain the patters that are seen epidemiologically Important social variables/determinants of health: education, income, wealth, gender, living environments (geography), language barriers, religion, (dis)ability, age, race, ethnicity, citizenship status Why medical sociology is important? - Illness is a fact of life that we all have to deal with one time or another. Social circumstances will play an enormous part in how we get sick, why we get sick, and how we experience illness - Why do some groups fare better than others in terms of health outcomes? - Medicalization: creating a medical definition (regulated by the healthcare field i.e. physicians) of non-medical problems. Ex: pregnancy and childbirth, aging - In the U.S. healthcare system, not everyone benefits. How can we understand this and implement relevant change. Income and education are two most predictive variables of one’s health, and are major variables in the composite variable called social class Example of medicalization: aging, a normal process, has been made a target for medical intervention - Plastic surgery, joint replacements, hearing aids, cataract surgery, cryopreservation of eggs, life support, Viagra, nursing homes/assisted care facilities. Review of Lecture 1 - Social variables impact health and health outcomes: education, geography, age, income, etc. - Two of the best indicators of life expectancy (proxies) are social class and education. Higher life expectancies are expected in people with greater education and of a higher social class. - Social class is a composite variable consisting in large part of income and employment - The healthcare/medical system is a social institution, meaning it is susceptible to social and economic influence factors.
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-How we deal with problems of illness and aging is culturally-dependent. Some accept putting elder members of the family in assisted living facilities, others don’t. Oftentimes the caregiver burden falls on the women in a family – mothers, daughters. Social Factors: variables that we consider when we try to understand disease and sickness Age Gender Race/ethnicity Religion Location Life Expectancy: how long people live Social class & education are the best predictors Having a higher level of education and higher social class improves life expectancy Social class is a composite variable – takes in to account several factors (job, education, money) Aging Part of life – everyone ages
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  • Spring '10
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