Unformatted text preview: influence health, illness, and health care and (2) how such meanings are learned through interaction with others and through media messages • Symbolic Interactionists see illness as socially constructed—that is, there are no diseases in nature. Instead, there are only conditions that social groups have come to define as illness or disease. For example, psychiatrist Thomas Szasz argued that what we call “mental illness” is no more than a label conferred on those individuals who are “different” (i.e., those who don’t conform to social definitions of appropriate behavior). • Definitions of health and illness vary over time and from society to society. In some countries, being fat is a sign of health and wellness; in others, it is an indication of mental illness or lack of self-control. Similarly, cigarette smoking was once defined as glamorous in the U.S....
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- Fall '10
- Sociology, Sick Role, symbolic interactionists, symbolic interactionist perspective, competent help