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Lecture 4

ethical issues lecture 4.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough

Health and Sociology  the definition of health is complicated, as it’s socially constructed (ex: not all health issues are equally important in various countries—liposuction is considered a health necessity in some nations but not others)  health is culturally constructed as it begins with socialization—depending on a person’s family and culture, certain conditions are labelled important health issues while others aren’t considered important (ex: malnutrition is an important illness, but many North Americans don’t consider it to be a big issue because they aren’t affected by it)  in Asian cultures, a great deal of important is placed on herbal remedies and acupuncture, while in North America these are considered alternatives to modern medicine  sociologists must define health carefully to their research subjects, as they could unintentionally exclude large groups of people with different views of healthcare  main factors that shape the health of Canadians aren’t medical treatments/lifestyle choices, but instead living conditions (income, education, unemployment status, housing, disability, gender, Aboriginal status) The Sick Neighbourhood  sociologists encounter socio-economic disparities about poverty and health  ex: in a Toronto study, most of Toronto’s poorest residents live near industries that emit high levels of toxins  study showed a correlation between poverty and pollution Ethics of Racial Profiling  racial discrimination is an issue related to power and the inability for some segments of society to have equal access to what society offers  racial profiling has its roots in law enforcement and criminal behaviour  deviance is behaviour that contradicts cultural norms (including breaking laws), and sociologists try to understand how this behaviour is dealt with  sociologists believe social control influence behaviour constantly because they are internalized and come into play every time a person has a deviant impulse (social control theory argues that defiance is a matter of failed social controls)  crime is an act that violates the norms of the social group (the law)  racial profiling is especially hurtful to the communities labelled for their alleged criminal activity—the assumption is that certain ethnic groups are more involved in criminal activities, resulting in more scrutiny from law enforcement  pro/cons for collecting data based on race For Race Based Data Against Race Based Data  the data could compromise  collecting this kind of info security and public safety as it provides transparency of police leads to stereotypes actions to the public  data could easily be  the data may eliminate/reduce misinterpreted some forms of racially biased  collecting it is too expensive; $ policing
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