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Chronic diseases - —defined by Jon Witt in SOC 2010 as...

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Health Care Chronic diseases —develop over a long period of time—often caused by “lifestyle choices” or work-related illnesses, which are hugely underreported—increasing evaluation of genetic factors and social structure: isolation is a kind of “disease,” tied up with sense of self and personality and hope 1. Tobacco—both direct and second-hand 2. Alcohol abuse 3. No mention of diet, but the fast food nation has a tremendously negative impact on health, hastening chronic diseases—an article from the RAND Corporation estimates that Americans east about 35% more salt every day that is healthy, leading to chronic diseases like kidney failure and high blood pressure, and an extra health care cost of $26 billion Because the commercial interests are so strong, and fast food is so popular, there is virtually no attention drawn to it, as there is to tobacco and alcohol Acute diseases —strike suddenly and cause dramatic incapacitation and sometimes death Culture-bound syndrome
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Unformatted text preview: —defined by Jon Witt in SOC 2010 as “a disease or illness that cannot be understood apart from some specific social context” (320)—he uses the example of anorexia nervosa, first described in England in the 1860s, as an intense fear of becoming obese—can be best understood in terms of Western culture, which idealizes slim/fragile women Other diseases, like alcoholism, can be a product of culture— The Scalpel and the Silver Bear describes alcoholism on Native American reservations as a product of “historical grief” but this raises the issue of how much we are controlled by the past and how much it becomes an ‘excuse” for present behavior AGE—an important factor in health statistics because disease tends to hit hardest at infants and at the elderly—the improvement of health care extends life expectancy and has a huge impact of social relations: a. Medical care b. Personal care—once left to families, now shifted to society c. Expectations 1...
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