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Sociology 1A06 - Health & Aging.docx

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Sandra Colavecchia

1A06 - Health & Aging March 22, 2013  Health, illness, aging, and dying are socially constructed and structured by social categories [ex. Class, gender, race, immigrant status, etc]  There's a positive relationship between socioeconomic status and health - Rich experience better health than poor, including life expectancy but also morbidity (disability) and premature mortality (ppl dying before they should)  The Hierarchy Stress Perspective - When we compare our situation to others, who we feel are doing better, we experience stress and that can adversely impact our health  Health is structured by gender, women live longer than men by almost 6 years, including ethnic, socioeconomic background  Because of this, most people explain this more of a women's issue - women tend to earn lower pays, most likely to live in poverty. Men have a higher risk of dying. Men have higher rates of suicide. Women tend to experience more morbidity compared to men - Chronic illnesses (Ongoing condition, ex. auto immune disease)  Race and Ethnicity shape health - Aboriginals experience poorer health outcomes [life expectancy, rates of disease / morbidity, infant mortality] More likely to die from infectious diseases - concluded by their living conditions/living in unsanitary conditions  Immigrants - recent immigrants tend to have good health. Healthy immigrant effect - We are selecting healthy people to immigrate to this country. New comers tend to experience lower health.  Multiple jeopardy hypothesis - if you belong to more than one low status group - female, visible minority, immigrant - then the impact becomes cumulative  Older individuals experience better psychological well-being than younger  The point in your life where you start having problems with disability - that onset of disability seems to be delayed, more Canadians are experiencing better health, many more years of good health  The process of dying as socially constructed, we think about how and where people die, in the past more people died at home surrounded by people which meant people observed/witness death first hand. Today, most people die in hospital, we don't have the same connection to death because we don't experience it first hand, it's more mysterious and invisible to us.  Importance of social support, social stigma, social and public policy  Stigma is very important, looked at the connection with mental illness For ex. If you get cancer - Poor you. If you get STD - You're stupid, how could you let that happen. Stigma encloses them from getting help, telling their family/friends the problem which can help Social Construction of Health and Medicine  Health care is socially constructed - varies over time & place.  Ex. Doctors (expand their market share/area of expertise/child birth) vs. Midwives Dentistry - had to mobilize and advance their practises over other people who focus on dentistry.  Privatization : Make publicly owned organizations like hospitals or clinics privately owned. Profitization means making these organizations to make profit.  Contemporary Trends: Patient activism - that's us becoming more proactive about our health and health care, more of us are more likely to question what our doctors tell us, more of us want to seek second opinions and look online. We make our own choices for our treatment. Alternative medicine - Acupuncture, some social groups want alternative medicine, women are more likely, higher socioeconomic groups are more likely. Holistic medicine - about the mind and body, the patient and the environment. Can include naturopath.  Medicalization - More and more conditions get defined as diseases. Some say they are not even conditions, they are just natural phases in life which get defined as medical conditions. Ex: A.D.D, A.D.H.D, Some say women's body is medicalized. Structural Functionalism  Emilie Durkheim: suicide - most people thought it was psychological problems. Suicide rates varied between gender, religion, status.  Talcott Parsons: sick role - when a person becomes ill and can't be a productive member of society, it can harmfully impact others. People who are ill should be properly looked at because it is important a lot of people don't get sick because if too little people go to work/school it could really damage society. Symbolic Interactionism  Kathy Charmaz 1993 Good Days, Bad Days: The self in chronic illness and time.  She's using a symbolic framework, interviewed 90 people who experienced chronic illness (people doing good sometimes because the illness fades, but some other times chronic illness show up)  She's interested in looking at how people create meaning to their illness. How do they see themselves?  She asks: What does it mean to have a chronic illness? How does chronic illness affect their sense of self? What is time like for these people during a sudden medical crisis? (waiting for the result of a medical test), What mirrors of self does illness provide?  3 Ways people experience illness: Illness as interruption - Where the illness doesn't really impact life too much. Intrusive illness - where the illness is intruding in their life. Illness as emersion - people becomes totally absorbed by their illness.  The rest of us who don't have an chronic illness don't see time the same way people who are ill do  David Rosenhan's 1973 experiment - Interested in labelling, how we label people and diseases. Some labels are really stigmatizing. Did a study called "On being Sane in Insane Places", he and people in his study checked themselves into mental hospitals in the US, they were instructed to say the same thing to the admitting doctor/nurse. He found that the staff didn't figure out that they were imposters, they found it difficult to get discharged because they were considered mentally ill. They were discharged only when they accepted that they were mentally ill. March 27, 2013 Conflict Theory  How social class impacts health  SES and health are correlated True or False? SES is only related to health for the very poor. Once you are middle class there is
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