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Unit 7

In: Social Issues

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Unit 7
Activity 1
P1
Sociological perspectives
Intro – In this booklet I am going to be giving information explaining the principle sociological perspectives and the different sociological approaches to health and ill health.
Functionalism – The theory that all aspects of a society serve a function and are necessary for the survival of that society.
This links to
This links to health as you are responsible for your own health and wellbeing and it is your responsibility to get better
This links to ill health as they often fail to recognise a mental health problem, because of this it could get progressively worse and they could become very unwell and have a low self-esteem.
Marxism – Society structure that is based on economic power and how wealthy you are. This has two social classes, the rich and the poor.
This links to
This links to health as rich people get cared for quicker. This is because they have the money to be able to get private health care. For example a poor person would have to go to a standard hospital and will have to wait hours to be seen to where as a rich person with private health care will be seen to straight away as there are less people waiting.
This links to ill health as the believe that if the doctors do not find an illness then there is not one there, this means that they could have a serious health problem which a doctor may not have spotted and because they believe that there is not one there they could develop a serious illness and become unwell.
Feminism – Believe that society is structured in a way that leaves women at a disadvantage and argues that women deserve equal rights and opportunities to men.
This links to
This links to health as
Interactionism – This is about shared meanings in social contexts and the use of symbols and language. People impose meaning on the world and communication enables meaning. And the theory that there are two entities, mind and body, each of which can effect on the other.
Collectivism – This follows a shared approach to society and supports the idea of interdependency among people and the practice or principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it.
Postmodernism – This is the opposite of modernism as everything has changed. The rules, norms and values are not clear as before.
‘New right’ – This describes economic a political liberalism. A movement made up especially of Protestants, opposed especially to secular humanism, and concerned with issues especially of church and state, patriotism, laissez-faire economics, pornography, and abortion.
P2
Concepts of health and ill health
Negative – Absence of ill health. If you have a disease of physical illness, then you are classed as un healthy. Feminists believe that it has a negative concept on health when it is about women. They feel that some people believe pregnancy, child birth, menopause, menstruation as real illnesses. They also believe that they are discriminated against because of this. For example, some women might not be employed for fear of going off on maternity leave and then being judged about doing so.
Positive – This is seen as being able to do things. For example, being able to bounce back from stress, disease and also coping with life. Seen as ‘feeling healthy’ such as being fit and having the energy to do things. This could also relate to body appearance and its condition, such as having healthy looking skin, shiny hair and feeling slim.
Holistic – This looks at the individual as a whole. To be healthy means considering the whole person. Their physical, psychological, emotional and also spiritual wellbeing. You need to understand how these aspects function within their environment and social relationships. Practitioners need to consider all aspects of an individual’s life in order for them to cope with illness and disease.
World health organisation (WHO) – In 1946 WHO defined health as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Then health was defined from a more holistic point of view to reach a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing an individual or group must be able to identify and to realise aspirations, to satisfy needs and to change or cope with the environment.
Models of health
Biomedical – This focuses on the physical or biological aspects of disease and illness. It is a medical model of care by doctors and health professionals and is associated with the diagnosis, sure and treatment of disease. It has emphasis on diagnosis and treating individuals separately from their lifestyle and living conditions. This tends to be the first thing people think of when they think of healthcare and it receives a majority of government healthcare funding. Examples of the biomedical model are: x-rays, scans, blood tests, ultrasound, mammograms, pap smear tests, prescription medicine, surgery and hospitalisation.
Socio-medical – This is more likely to look at what makes an individual suffer from sickness. It is more concerned about the environment and the life-style of an individual and they focus more on how to prevent every individual from catching the disease if there is a disease prevalence in the society. This model believes that people with a higher social class are less likely to develop illness than people who are part of a lower social class.
Ill-health
Illness – This is a disease or period of sickness affecting the body or mind.
Disability – This is the consequence of an impairment that may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, developmental, or some combination of these that result in restrictions on an individual's ability to participate in what is considered "normal" in their everyday society.
Disease – This is a particular abnormal condition, a disorder of a structure or function that affects part or all of an organism. The causal study of disease is called pathology. Disease is often construed as a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs.
The sick role
This is a term used in medical sociology regarding sickness and illness and the rights and obligations of the affected. It is a concept created by American sociologist Talcott Parsons in 1951.
The clinical iceberg
This is made up of four different levels: diagnosed diseases, undiagnosed or wrongly diagnosed diseases, risk factors for disease and free of risk factors.
Diagnosed disease – This may include controlled and uncontrolled diseases, disease which are symptomatic and disease which are easily and commonly identified diseases.
Undiagnosed diseases – unidentified cases of disease which are not treated due to its unknown nature.
Wrongly diagnosed diseases – An inaccurate assessment of a patient’s condition that sometimes lead to wrong treatment.
Risk factors for disease – People that fall under this category have a high chance of acquiring a said disease.
Free or risk factors – These are people who have low chances of acquiring a disease and people who are considered completely healthy.
M1
Biomedical and socio-medical modes of health
Socio-medical model – This focuses on social factors that contribute to an individual’s health and wellbeing and especially looks at the impact of poverty, poor housing, diet and pollution. In order for individuals to prevent them from ill health they need to improve housing and programmes to tackle poverty and inequality. This model challenges assumptions made out of the medical model and focuses and emphasises the need to look at wider considerations.
Strengths – This model encourages people to live healthy lifestyles and also looks at the causes of illness and diseases, it also tried to improve the factors that cause illness and prevent this from occurring again. It is widely used and understood by other medical professionals and how health improved when social conditions improved.
Weaknesses - It fails to look at the biological causes of disease and illness and can take a long period of time to improve environmental factors. Also the socio- medical model doesn’t have a clear method to identify or arrange health problems and it is unable to explain illnesses where there are no signs and symptoms to make a diagnosis. Changing an individual’s environment and lifestyle choices will consist of different things depending on what the person was used to previously also some people take longer to adjust to change whereas others don’t have a problem with adjusting and also it will take a long period of time and may not have a quick response on an individual’s health. When emergency care is needed the socio-medical model is unable to address an individual’s health problems and treatment that is required can be expensive and can require training or expertise for it to be delivered.
Biomedical Model – This model is the most common way for Health Care professionals to identify the nature of a medical condition in many western countries. The Biomedical model defines health as being free from pain, disease or defect. It looks at the physical processes that influence individuals for example physiology and pathology of a condition. This doesn’t go under the social or psychological influences that may have an active role in influencing illness. According to the biomedical model every illness has a cause and once the Health Care professionals remove the cause this means the individual can become healthy again.
Strengths – It is shown to be successful for diagnosis and treatment for various diseases and is based on scientific knowledge and research. The biomedical model focuses on the cures for illnesses and diseases. It also states that health can be restored by various techniques e.g. surgery, drugs or treatment. It also emphasises facts and testing on biomedicine and that ill health can be found by diagnosis putting into consideration signs and symptoms.
Weaknesses – It fails to include psychosocial factors that are shown to be the main influences of disease and illness. Also individuals play a little or no part in the intervention to the restore their body back to health and does not take into consideration the interpretation of the individual’s health. When trying to restore health back the biomedical model treats both the body and mind differently and thinks that finding a cure is more important than finding prevention. The model failed to address illness and disease which doesn’t show any physical signs and symptoms and also fails to look at the harmful effects which prompt the individual through the effects of treatment by a physician or surgeon.
Activity 2
P3
Sociological perspectives
Measurement of health
Morbidity rates – This is the frequency of which a disease appears in a population.…...

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