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RELIG ST 2WW3 Jan 15

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Religious Studies
Hisako Omori

Key definitions and concepts - Social constructionism- 4 premises o Social reality is constructed  Certain social relationships and behaviours are legitimated and others are not  Not the same as psychological reality  Socialization takes place is family, work etc  Socialization determines which reality we accept as real and meaningful  Symbols: • Ex. Rabbit: can mean good luck, fertility o Social reality is learned o Social realities are plural  Differ within and among different societies  Societies may contain different realities, such as cultures  May reflect a blend of traditional and modern belief values  May vary according to religion, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, education o Social realities are not equal  Have a relationship to power  Developed historically, determine which perspective is dominant in a given time or place  Ex: in Canada, same sex couples can get married  Changes over time, this was not always practiced - Disease vs illness? o Disease  Problem from practioners perspective  Disease is reconfigured only as … in biological structure and functioning  Individual organic pathology or dysfunction  Biomedical models oriented towards disease o Illness  Psychological meaning attributed to disease  Not all illness is disease  Affects ill person and that person’s social network  Innate behaviour of symptoms and suffering  Monitoring bodily processes  Illness behaviours: consists of initiating treatment, changing diet, resting, over counter drugs, care from alternative practitioners  Illness problems: principle difficulties that symptoms create in our lives • May cause you to ponder your self-worth • People measure themselves by notion of productivity  Illness experience • Culturally shaped • Patterned ways we have learned to act in our life roles • Normal and abnormal way to behave as reaction to illness • How you grew up will affect your behaviour - Healthcare system (Kleinman) o Popular  Largest, 70% of all illness episodes start from here  Majority of heathcare encounters occur  Least studied  Lay, non-professional, non-specialist, popular cultural arena • When a child is sick parents will decide to do based on their experiences • Or ask other friends or family, seek help • May draw on professional and folk knowledge from other people  Containing several levels: individual, family, social network and community  Illness is first defined here and healthcare activities initiated  Chief source and most immediate determinant of care  Self treatment by individual and family is first source  Emphasis on health and health maintenance • Rather than curing o Professional  Organized healing professions • Protected by norms that exist  Empowered  Maintain dominance  Focus on hard to get knowledge  Focus on compliance  Sick person = patient  Other healthcare activities may be thought of as not credible or dangerous  Difference between expert and lay person • Knowledge is hard to get • Knowledge to provide info about disease, illness and healing o Folk  Not a professional specialist but specialist  Sacred and secular parts  Non-dominant • Could seek to gain dominanc
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