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Lecture 4

Week 4 Lecture Notes

Health Studies
Course Code
Caroline Barakat

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Lecture 4: Social Factors + health
Basic Definitions
Social Class - based on level of income (Hierarchy) arrangements of people in society
as economic groups
Socio-Economic Status societal status using factors or measurements such as
income levels; paying rent or not, based on people, communities, factors that show
that you are well off or not like income, size of car, size of house (age, unemployment
, retirement plans = not factors)
Social Causation Hypothesis factors associated with socio-economic status
influence on health, link between incomes (poor people end up with poor health)
Selection Hypothesis life course perspectives; parental income can lead to better
resources, education and better outcomes, what happens when you are younger
makes you what you are when you are older (exposure at a young age can lead to
illness when you are older).
Psychological Stress
Response to stress
Mediating factors
How one copes is very important (impacts psychological factors and how it
effects health)
Crisis Theory –always trying to get back to a happier time in ones life; homeostasis
and equilibrium; deals with coping; based on cognitive theory; Appraisal of models
of coping
3 Main Factors of Coping
Social Support Having friends, family members, and communities that can
help you.
Social Capital (Community Level) Feeling that you belong within a

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Self Efficacy Having confidence within your own life; Internal control; self
esteem related, believing in yourself and having success helps, it can relate
and control your life better with high efficacy than low.
Labeling and Social Stigma
Sense of powerfulness
Depersonalization (Someone who is disabled)
At a social level social reaction which leads to a split identity + labeling
Social Interaction vs. Symbolic Interaction
Social Interaction managing stress + coping, minimize social stigmas,
Symbolic Interaction how it is to be different, disabled and ill is symbolic
Health Related Behaviors
Sick Role: Does not always know for sure; at an individual level
Illness: aimed at seeking treatment; perception; evaluation and their own
reactions; not wanting to be diagnosed
Health Behavior: Health is a maintenance; seeks treatment; seeks vaccines
Gender Theory
Gender roles + stereotypes
Biological differences between male + female
Women report more illnesses then men (reporting an illness is seen as weak,
men dont want to be seen as weak)
Cultural Theory
Same as gender theory (not all report it because its a sign of weakness)
Women report more illnesses and causations such as smoking and drinking
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