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Lecture

SociologyofHealth.pdf

3 Pages
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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC100
Professor
Bryan Sluggett

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November 14th 2013 Sociology of Health Medicalization: view (something) in medical terms; treat as a medical problem, What is Normal? ● Illich - text page 354 “In every society → his disability, and even his death” ● Why would someone want their social problem to become a health problem ○ benefits, insurance coverage Why is Health a concern for sociologists? What does sociology contribute to the study of health and illness? ● Health outcomes are patterned (Class affects what kind of treatment you can get) Medical sociology is based on the view that medical practises and beliefs are intensely social. ● Policy Sociology: generates data to help develop policies for healthcare ● Critical Sociology: keep system in check (ex. when school raise fees, practices of companies and for profit hospitals) The transformation of “health” (in high income nations) ● How we define “health” is intimately connected to our definition of our human nature ○ Ex. average life span, vaccinations are often expected ● We’ve gone from a concern with disease to a concern with lifestyle choices ○ Ex. Obesity ○ In High income nations, the thing that used to kill us off have been fixed ● Expanding definition of “disease” means many new problems are now medicalized, defining more and more things as medical problems ○ Can get meds for being too shy ● Question: Health or Enhancement? ○ Health/sick binary is breaking down ○ Now increasingly about “optimization”, rather than focused on disease (Ex. sleeping, shyness, attention, intelligence, sexual performance, memory) ○ New health technologies, potentially change our understanding of “human” and “society” ● New pharmaceutical interventions to deal with social/cultural/economic rooted problems ● Medicalization of certain problems = a form of social control, defines what is normal and what is deviant. New Health Agenda in High Income Countries: Lifestyle choices ● Eating right ● Exercise ● Limit smoking, drinking, drug use ● get enough sleep ● limit stress ● Health is a form of social control ● Health is individualized ● Health problems are defined by their complexity ● Example: Is Obesity a disea
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