Exam 1 Lecture Notes

Exam 1 Lecture Notes - 18January2011 Ch.1:MedicalSociology...

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18 January 2011 Ch. 1: Medical Sociology I. Classical Focus and Central Concerns a. Importance of Medical Sociology i. New, but rapidly growing, sub-area of sociology ii. Health closely linked to well-being iii. Incidence of health/illness closely linked to social factors and lifestyle issues (HIV/AIDS, cardiac, diabetes, etc.) iv. Health care systems represent expressions of fundamental philosophical and political values of a society b. Donald Light, medical sociologist i. “Medical care and health are acts of political philosophy” ii. Social values affect: 1. Choices about lifestyles and health care (individual level) a. Obesity, risky behavior 2. Institutional structures related to health a. Health care settings, medical practices 3. Funding of health care a. Biggest component of expenditures in the U.S. iii. Medicare: not available to all citizens, based on economic qualifications iv. CHIP: children’s health insurance program (Georgia) 1. Provides subsidies for working poor who do not qualify for Medicaid to care for their children c. Primary Focus i. Explore the influence of social and cultural factors on 1. The causes and distribution of illness and disability 2. The ability to prevent illness and disability 3. The distribution in society of resources related to good health (often a reflection of broader cultural norms and values) d. History i. Term medical sociology first introduced in 1894, by Charles McIntire, a physical ii. WWII was a big impetus to the founding of the sub- discipline 1. Funding from federal agencies, especially the National Institute of mental Health 2. Funding from private organizations (Russell Sage Foundation) iii. These led to publication of several key volumes still used today
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e. Difference from other sub-disciplines in sociology i. Rarely addressed by the “classical” theorists in the field, though some (ex. Engels) talked of links between capitalism and health of workers ii. Emerged with a more applied, more interdisciplinary focus waned with more influence of government-funded research f. Early Emphases i. Produce work that could be applied immediately to medical practice ii. Produce work that could guide health policy iii. This gave the field early on an applied orientation, in contrast to some other sub-areas of society iv. Field is interdisciplinary g. Parsons: The social system i. Built on theories of Durkheim and Weber, sociological theorists. Provided a link between the emerging field, and the works of classical theorists ii. Medical system was a general social system, with norms, roles, forms of social control iii. Institutionalized the fledging new sub-discipline within sociology, despite later criticism of some of Parson’s ideas surrounding the sick role iv. Parsons legitimated the field as a theoretical enterprise, where ideas could be generated to apply to sociology generally. Brought it into the sociological fold v. Functionalists: each part has a specific job and they depend on each other for the system to work properly
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Exam 1 Lecture Notes - 18January2011 Ch.1:MedicalSociology...

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