curing or alleviating persons struggling from mental illness. Staying healthy depends on having access to adequate food, satisfactory employment conditions, clean water, and good health care.
People with higher social and economic standing in society have greater access to these resources, and they are generally healthier than those of lower class status. The conflict perspective illustrates, the poor are less able to afford nutritious food, sanitary living conditions, access to healthcare, and the other things essential resources. The inequitable distribution of money, prestige, and power in the health-care sys-tem, then, is viewed as a social problem by those groups who feel they are receiving less than their fair share of resources. From the conflict perspective, however, there is no state of the system that is “preferred” or necessarily beneficial to all. If some group gains additional benefits, other groups must lose something. Interactionist The interactionist perspective emphasizes that sick people are cast into a social role, part of which has been described as the sick role. This role may include socially devalued and stigmatized elements. A mentally ill person may be seen as dangerous, though they may not have any violent or harmful characteristics associated to their specific illness. We attach social meanings to various illnesses, and we expect people to behave in conformity to those meanings. Healthcare facilities and resource centers lead by interactionist perspectives treat people in a dehumanizing and impersonal fashion, which can lead to low self-esteem and a negative self- concept and may hinder people from seeking the help they drive people away from seeking the health care they really need.
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- Fall '14