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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - Environment and Health.docx

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Dalhousie University
Soc & Social Anthropology
SOSA 2503
Emma Whelan

Environment and Health Sept.17 10/5/2013 8:32:00 AM Lecture Intro - Conditions we work - Environment & Industry related - Sociology 18 thcentury from industrial revolution to current, what was happening - People slow to talk about environment, can see in Engels reading History - 1800s: Effects of rapid industrialization  effect of living conditions, sanitation, water supply on health  Rudolph Fircoff – Poland typhus outbreak study, social/living conditions as cause as opposed to biological causes. Social changes to deal with problem.  Virchow, Snow – cholera “shoe leather epidemiology”  Snow – British physician, studied cholera 1854 London, unusual at the time, observed areas affected “shoe leather epidemiology,” some kinds of people sick, others not. Local brewers not getting sick, drank beer more exclusively. Workhouse people not sick (separate supply). Found varied social conditions, found contaminated water as the source - McKeown Thesis (1976),  Counterbalance to biomedical model  Shifted focus to social/infrastructure factors  Poor communities/countries = more illness  Etiology – specific bacteria/cause for disease. Located within particular bodies, focus on interventions targeted to individual: drugs, surgery, vaccines - 1960s: Chemical pollution  Rachel Carson (marine biologist), Silent Spring o DDT effects, contaminates water, kills birds/fish o Agricultural industry tried to discredit o Presidential advisory committee formed o Environmental Protection Agency formed  DDT banned in 1972 State of sociological knowledge - Role of environmental sociology - Potential roles of sociology of health and illness  Kroll-Smith & Floyd, Bodies in Protest: multiple chemical sensitivity, have to convince others of its legitimacy  Ellen Sweeney‟s work on New Waterford Hospital: construction at hospital, outbreak of chemical sensitivity, treatment not covered, health care workers developed sensitivity at work  Nick Fox at BSA MedSoc - anthropocentrism vs. „assemblages‟ o Assemblages of ALL, not just humans o Anthropocentrism = Environmental health focused on human beings o Assemblage = environmental health as an assemblage of ALL, not just humans o Relational/interaction, bi-product (health/enviro) How environment affects health - Ubiquitous Risks vs. unequally distributed risks - Ubiquitous Risks:  Toxic body burden – 50,000-70,000 chemical substances, 1000 new chemicals in North America each year  Chemicals accumulate in bodies (body fat) o Persistent organic pollutant (POP)- e.g. PCBs (poly-chloro-
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