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SOCIOL 1A06 (735)

March 22nd.docx

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Sandra Colavecchia

4/3/2013 9:15:00 AM Health and Aging:  Health, illness, aging, and dying are socially constructed and structured by social categories (i.e. class, gender, race, immigrant status etc.)  Importance of social support, social stigma, social and public policy  Sociologists would talk about the ways that health is socially constructed  Health is constructed by: o Race o Gender o Social status o Positive relationship between SES and health  Hypothesis: o Not just access to economic resources but the other level is our perceptions on inequality, where we stand in relation to other people. They refer to this as the hierarchy stress perspective.  Which Says: o When we compare our situation to others who we feel are doing better then we experience stress and this can adversely impact our health.  Women experience lower life-time earnings  More likely to live in poverty when they are elderly  Men have a more likelihood of dying than women  Men have higher rates of suicide  Women tend to experience greater morbidity as compared to men o More chronic illness – on-going condition  Historically thought that women were more like to experience mental illness as compared to men… now we see it is equally distributed  Newcomers to Canada (immigrants): o Experience declining health  Death and Dying: o Socially constructed o How its experienced o The meanings attached to the dying process o How they have varied over time and place o Past:  More people died at home  They had a very clear connection to death by way of observation o Today:  Most people don’t have that connection to death  Death has become more private and invisible  Most people have no connection to it because they haven’t seen someone die  Social stigma: o Impacts patient care Social Construction of Health and Medicine:  Health care is socially constructed o Example:  Doctors versus midwives  Contemporary trends: o Patient activism:  More of us are more likely to question what our doctors tell us nd  More likely to seek 2 opinions  More of us make own decisions for treatments o Alternative medicine:  Acupuncture  Herbal vitamins  Reflexology
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