only among the social sciences as we have seen above but of social science with

Only among the social sciences as we have seen above

This preview shows page 9 - 11 out of 16 pages.

only among the social sciences as we have seen above, but of social science with medical and various health sciences, has the potential to produce new insights. Examples of the possibilities abound. Note the above discussion of how education may reshape biochem- ical brain function to prevent or diminish the likelihood of dementia, or of how higher class can prevent the devastating health effects of smoking to a degree. Increased infu- sion of theory is a likely future direction for sociology of health and illness, as in the development of theoretical frameworks portraying the pathways by which social ine- qualities link to population health. Reliance on life course perspectives of both individu- als and societies, particularly of social policies over time, can deeply enhance understandings and ramp up explanatory power. Use of multiple methods to study phenomena of health and illness is increasing in popularity and likely to continue to expand. Combinations of meta-analyses, interna- tional comparative data, case studies, focus on particular illnesses, etc. all open doors to greater insights. Longitudinal analyses and the increasing availabilities of longitudinal
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McDaniel 835 micro-level data in many countries expand greatly what we can know. Following indi- viduals over time, as clearly evidenced in the Whitehall study, enables researchers to understand, at a deep level, the factors that matter to health. Is it the gravity of being born in a lower class, or working in a lower level job, or living in substandard housing? Is it the path dependency of lowered opportunities and lowered expectations and control over one’s life that leads to poorer health outcomes? Or is it shocks such as economic reces- sions, wars, crime, or loss that affect health more? The sociology of bodies has opened new conceptual avenues for research on sociolo- gies of health and illness. Seeing physiological bodies as social constructions enables new insights. We no longer ask, with this perspective, how the social enters the body, because the body literally is conceptualized as embodying the social. Similarly, new research on the relation of globalization to health and well-being opens opportunities to see how macro-level forces and changes affect population health. Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. Annotated further reading Hall PA and Lamont M (eds) (2009) Successful Societies: How Institutions and Culture Affect Health . New York: Cambridge University Press. This much acclaimed edited book brings together top social health scholars from different disciplines to contemplate with fresh eyes, data, new and old, together with new theoretical frameworks what defines successful and healthy societies and what social conditions sustain them. The focus is on population health and contemporary puzzles such as why life expectancy gains have not been sustained in some countries, why socioeconomic changes improve population health in some places but affect
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  • Summer '18
  • Monroe
  • Sociology, The Land, Journal Of Health And Social Behavior, Social Science and Medicine

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