Health Science Lecture
September 11 2012
Changing your lifestyle as a way to improve your health are historically contingent.
Research shows that social factors are better predictors of health than medical ones,
especially on groups of people.
Health are distributed due to social factors and economical factors, not randomly
Global health trends show how lifestyles are distributed due to social factors.
People in more wealthy countries live longer than those who live in poverty stricken
- HIstorically in Canada, the infant mortality rate has sharply been declining over the last
Individual vs. Social. Perspectives on Health
- competing perspectives
- social perspectives tend to be more inﬂuential.
- Individual perspectives tend to be talked about more.
In a social system, in order to change the social issues, the resolution is to change the
social conditions and promote health for entire groups and populations.
- Mental outlook
- Way of seeing
- Point of view
- depends on our educational backgrounds and our personal experiences
- All Perspectives have limits and boundaries.
- There are always more than 2 perspectives and 2 sides to the story.
- Social perspective on health
- informed by sociological ways of thinking
- sociological way of thinking recognizes: limitations and dynamic behaviors
Why is unemployment more important than family?
Social Perspective on Health:
- social systems and social conditions - health of groups and population.
- relationships between macro-level social structures and micro-level experiences of
Challenges Us to Be Critical:
- consider what we think we know about health.
- create new ways of understanding health.
- create new strategies to enhance opportunities for health and well being for everyone.
Seeing and Knowing:
- How do we know what we know?
- What do we see? What do we know?
- What CAN we see? WHat have we become conditioned to see? What has been
- What CAN we know? - What have we become conditioned to know? And what other
ways of knowing have been obscured?
Social Perspective of Health
Roots causes of illness and suffering are in social arrangements and inequalities.
Social Model of Health:
- There are three components of the social model of health
- Societal production and distribution of health and illness.
- Social construction of health and illness.
- Social organization of health care.
Social Determinants of Health
- Rooted in social perspective on health
- Broadly speaking we can deﬁne it as factors that affect the chances people will have to
lead healthy lives.
- Critical awareness - how you have come to form an idea and opinion about
- Empathy - Not feeling sorry for someone and adopting a perspective from another
- Curiosity - Be intellectually curious! Ask questions!
- Reﬂexivity - why does it bother me to know something is out of control? Health
- Greek word ʻholosʼ meaning whole.
- Hippocrates described health as a condition in which the functions of the body and the
soul are in harmony with the outside world.
- Multiple deﬁnitions of health.
- How do we concept