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SOC243 Lecture 1

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William Magee

SOC243 09/10/2012 Professor Magee TA Joly; [email protected] Social Epidemiology and medical sociology - studies of the social causes of illness predate sociology as a discipline - Fredrich Engels (prior to full fledge Marxian Theory), "Conditions of the working classes in England" 1844 (activists) - Rodolf Virchow (Marxian Theory), starting soon after, but not publishing systemically until 1870;s perhaps due to work in biology (professional orientation) Medical sociology developed as a unique field about 100 years later (1950s) - Talcott Parsons - first major theory in medical sociology - focus on medicine as an institution of social control - Functionalist perspective - institutions develop to process people in a way that keeps system functioning - medical institutions process sick people - a branch of medicine within medical institutions John Snow & the Cholera Epidemic of 1850's London (UK) - wells were the major cause of the cholera epidemic by looking at the map of clusters - took an inductive reasoning - starts with observation and moves towards generalizations and theories. This bottom up approach involves searching for patterns and regularizes (or irregularities) - deductive reasoning - works from the "general" to the "specific", frequently a theory about topic and then narrow it down to specific hypotheses that can be tested Epidemiologic Triangle - A, H, E (Triangle) - A, Agent - Distribution - Mutation - E, Environment, distributions and communion of hosts - H, Host resistance - Sociological methods assist social epidemiology Sociology in medicine and public health - sociologist help health care providers/researchers with studies that answer questions about the cause of diseases, illnesses and treatments - studies of "patient compliance" - critique of sociology in medicine: it is a "a well financed government effort to cope with the problems of industrial society" (Alvin Gouldner) - issue of control is centre Sociology of Medicine - Research and analysis of the medical environments, place of medicine in the political economy - analyses of historical trends - defining role of technology, organizational practices in relation to epidemiological trends - power and control, health and illness rates, social epidemiology and medical sociology Eras, Ages and Epidemiological Transitions, a long term (western) perspective - age of pestilence and famine (1700's, the black death) - age of receding pandemics - age of degenerative diseases - new rise of infectious diseases - age of delayed degenerative diseases "the ET" Age of Pestilence and Famine : Waves of Plagues - the black death - in 4 years between 1346-1350 estimated to have killed one in every three people in Western Europe - sees to be same bacteria responsible for earlier plagues (Y. pestis) such as 6th century "Justinian Plague" - recent genetic research Other developments associated with rise of pestilence/disease - development of farming and domesticated animals - agriculture made possible the development of cities and large populations : structure of early cities and exposure and resistance types of social and economic relations - population contact through urbanization versus trade versus war - mechani
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