SOC246H1 Lecture Notes - Cramp, Peripheral Artery Disease

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Sociology of Aging
Class Notes
Winter 2012, Class 5
AGING & HEALTH
I. studying health positivist and Interpretivist approaches
II. Basic concepts to describe health and aging in the population
III. Compression of morbidity
IV. Limitations of the positivist approach to heath what does health in older age
Different approaches to study health
Positivist-----------------------------------------------Interpretivist
Distinction common in are of sociology relevant with aging and health
Health problem being a barrier in participation in social life
I. Positivist vs. Interpretivist approaches to health
Positivist sociology emphasizes objective facts, things we can go out into the
world and measure, precision, and quantitative ways of representing reality
Assumes that phenomena n the world are objectively “out there” for us to observe.
We can meaningfully measure the social life ( attach number) and make prediction
about the future on the basis of observation
Interpretive sociology emphasizes meaning, representations and portrayals,
richness and depth, and subjective aspects of the world
Understanding 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 aging
Meaning that people attach to concept ex: Disability
Zombie article draw parallels to cultural meaning abut disease such as Alzheimer
Health being a multi facet and complex phenomena
Ex: 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
asked older people: “what is health?”1
-as not ill avoiding the doctors, not been to doctors
-despite disease
-as a reserve
1 Mildred Blaxter, Health and Lifestyles, 1990, London: Routledge.
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-as “the healthy life”
-as physical fitness
-as energy or vitality
-as social relationships
-as function
-as psychosocial well-being
Earlier in the life course, health being unproblematic, don’t really think about it.
However, we need to think about health as we agecant take things for granted
Positivist most common, want to know %, how many people have a disease and
what age people will get it such as Alzheimer
II. Basic concepts related to health and aging
a. Morbidity terms refers to disease, abnormality and dysfunction in body
Prevalence: At a given time, how many people have a disease
Incidence: Over a stretch of time, how many new incidence had occur
epidemiological transition: A shift of nature/ type of morbidity and
disease. Prevalence in the population acute to chronic illness(on
going),moving from infectious ex: diabetes merge over time
70-80% death come from some sort of chronic disease
Leading causes of death:
1900—pneumonia-influenza-bronchitis, tuberculosis, diarrhea and
enteritis, heart diases ( 4th)
2000—heart disease (1st), cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory
disease
heart disease moving from rake 4 to rank 1
Chronic disease influence by lifestyle and also increase in frequency and
severity as people age.
As people age chronic disease to be consider. Chronic disease aren’t
distributed equally in population- social status plays a role ( matter)
Table of ages 65 with disease in USA: higher rate of disease with lower
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