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SOC246 Lecture 5

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University of Toronto St. George
Martha Shaffer

Sociology of AgingClass NotesWinter 2012 Class 5I 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 reality Assumes that phenomena in the world are out there for us to observe We can measure them objectively in a quantitive way There is an emphasis on this approach in sociology Interpretive sociology emphasizes meaning representations and portrayals richness and depth and subjective aspects of the world Deals more with subjective understanding of the world More interpretive making sense of the world What dopeople mean Example the zombie article Shows that health is multifaceted andnot always easy to measureExample British sociologist Mildred Blaxter carried out a study in which she 1asked older people what is healthas not illdespite diseaseas a reserveas the healthy lifeas physical fitnessas energy or vitalityas social relationshipsas functionas psychosocial wellbeingII Basic concepts related to health and agingaMorbidity disease more medical term Abnormality or disfunction in specific bodily system prevalence at a given time how many people have a specific disease1 Mildred Blaxter Health and Lifestyles 1990 London Routledge
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