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Lecture 5

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Markus Schafer

Sociology of AgingClass NotesWinter 2012 Class 5AGINGHEALTHI studying health positivist and Interpretivist approachesII Basic concepts to describe health and aging in the populationIII Compression ofmorbidityIV Limitations of the positivist approach to heath what does health in older ageDifferent approaches to study healthPositivistInterpretivist Distinction common in are of sociology relevant with aging and healthHealth problem being a barrier in participation in social lifeI Positivist vs Interpretivist approaches to healthPositivist sociology emphasizes objective facts things we can go out into the world and measure precision and quantitative ways of representing realityAssumes that phenomenan the world are objectively out there for us to observe We can meaningfully measure the social lifeattach number and make prediction about the future on the basis of observationInterpretive sociology emphasizes meaning representations and portrayals richness and depth and subjective aspects of the worldUnderstanding what the phenomena is Our job is to make sense of phenomena in the social world and to question the meaning that people attach to words like health and agingMeaning that people attach to concept ex DisabilityZombie article draw parallels to cultural meaning abut disease such as Alzheimer Health being a multi facet and complex phenomenaEx what is health from our own life experience and perspective What it means to be healthy and not healthy How we conceptualize and make sense of health Example British sociologist Mildred Blaxter carried out a study in which she 1asked older people what is healthas not illavoiding the doctors not been to doctorsdespite diseaseas a reserve1 Mildred Blaxter Health and Lifestyles 1990 London Routledge
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