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Lecture

SOC243 Lecture Sept 9.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC243H1
Professor
William Magee
Semester
Fall

Description
SOC243 Sept 9/13 Brief Intro to Social Epidemiology and Medical Sociology  • Two early researchers who focused on social causes of illnesses o Fredrich Engles “Conditions of the working classes in England” 1844 (activist  orientation)  Prior to full fledged Marxian Theory o Rudolf Virchow, starting soon after, but not publishing systematically until 1870’s,  perhaps due to work in biology (professional orientation)  More public health  Doesn’t want to overthrow capitalism  Medical Sociology: • Medical sociology developed a s a unique field in 1950’s • Talcott Parsons­ first major theory in medical sociology o Focus on medicine as an institution of social control  o Structural­ functionist perspective­ institutions develop to process “deviance” (sick  people) in a way that keeps system functioning (since illness can be a threat to the social  order) o Health more broadly define as a medical deviance o Social epidemiology­ what is causing illness? • John Snow & the Cholera Epidemic of 1850’s  o London (UK) o Maps illness and notices trends of illness in clusters o At epicenter of clusters there is wells o He thinks that perhaps these wells are connected to the illness o Inductive reasoning­ starts with observation and moves toward generalization, if not  theory. This “bottom up” approach involves searching for patterns or regularities (or  irregularities)  ▯hunch  ▯infers cause (pathogen in water/well) o Deductive reasoning­ works from the “general” to the “specific” (i.e. “top down  approach”. The general is frequently a theory. Hypothesis are testable suppositions  typically derived from generalizations • Epidemiologic triangle­  o An aid for inductive reasoning about infectious diseases  A, H, E  Agent, host, environment  Need to see relationship between the three  Agent­ distribution, mutation  Environment­ distribution and communion of hosts  Host­ resistance • Sociology in Medicine/Public Health o Sociologists help health care providers/researchers with studies that answer questions  about the causes of diseases, illnesses and treatments  Ex­ studies of “patient compliance” (getting patients to follow doctors orders)  Critique of sociology in medicine: it is a “well financed government effort to  cope with the problems of industrial society” (Alvin Gouldner) • Sociology of Medicine  Studies of medical environments (hospitals) and practices  Analyses of the place of medicine/healthcare in the political economy  Analyses of historical trends­ defining role of technology, organizational  practices in relation to epidemiologic trends  Sometimes is undertaken from a “critical perspective” that challenges dominant  views (i.e. views of the medical field) • Eras, Ages, and Epidemiologic Transition(s): a long­term (Western) perspective o Age of pestilence and infections disease o Age of receding pandemics o Age of degenerative diseases o “New rise” of infectious diseases o Age of delayed degenerative disease • Age of Pestilence and Infectious Disease: Wave of Plagues o “Black Death” in 4 years between 1326­1350 estimated to have killed one in every three  people in western Europe (from 25% to 50%, min. 25 millions deaths) o Seems to be same bacteria responsible for earlier plagues (Y. perstis), such as 6  century  “Justinian Plague”—recent genetic research traces origins of bacteria to china  o Seemed to disappear in Europe until Middle Ages/ Black Death • Some aspects of physical environment th
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