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Lecture 2

SOC364H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Infant Mortality, Structural Violence, Epidemiology

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Jooyoung Lee

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SOC364 Lecture 2 May 14 - Theoretical Foundations
Nas - "One Love" (1994)
mass incarceration shape communities in different ways
there's a strong culture in certain neighborhoods that funnels people into activities with
serious repercussions
points to the same desperations people are faced with where illegitimate paths are more
rewarding then legitimate ones
Bruce Link & Jo Phelan "Social Conditions as Fundamental Causes"
they take aim at more conventional way at looking at health - proximal causes
Proximal Causes
Epidemiology focuses on proximal (or immediate) causes for negative health outcomes
ie. diet, lack of exercise, cholesterol
these point to individual choices and behaviours
for many years there were the kind of themes that epidemiologist were trying to explain
why some people die earlier, or some groups show greater tendencies for obesity
how can individuals change the way about their health
the most immediate causes to the individual
Social Determinants of Health
Link & Phelan point to the "distal" (far away beyond individual) causes for disease
Argue that social conditions like socioeconomic status (SES) and social support matter
why does it matter?
there's not an umbrella intervention; all the these arguments are trying to figure
out a way but none of them are sufficient to irradicate these issues
the individual approach is very reactive
Farmer - how to structure the community around the individual
also points to privilege for people who have the time or money to have a healthy lifestyle,
ie. preparing healthy food
if we focus on the proximal causes that if we focus on good/bad health on individual
choice then that creates stigma & blames the individual for their outcome. ie. if someone
is obese then it's their own fault
if we focus on individual then we lose out on the larger forces (institutions) that we need
to intervene on & make a different to transform outcomes in groups
we need both individual and community focus
Contextualizing risks
toward a better understanding of how people become exposed to certain health risks
design better interventions
healthy food - safe homes - steady job w/benefits - affordable housing - access to health
care - affordable schools
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