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Social Determinants of Health - Readings .docx

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Health Sciences
Health Sciences 1002A/B
Jessica Polzer

Bring on the Duelling Top 10s Joseph Tropiano Everyday we are given advice about how to be healthyDont smokeEat a balanced dietBe physically activeAll of the these factors relate to lifestyle adapting to your social environmentThe environment is also called the socioeconomic determinants of healthBecame mainstream when Marc Lalonde the health minister of health and welfare at the time issued his landmark report New Perspectives on the Health of CanadiansGeneral living conditions contribute more to long term health status and mortality rates than lifestyle practicesWith this in mind one could make another list o Dont be poor o Pick you parents well o Get an educationMost of these things are out of someones controlIf we want to be healthy we need a health care system that delivers state of the art sickness care as well as an environment and culture that supports healthy livingThe countries with the best health outcomes and the highest life expectancy have the smallest income gap between the rich and poor The Forest and the Trees Joseph Tropiano DiversityDiverse groups are better with problems that require creative solutionsDiverse groups bring language barriers and customs that may irritate or confuse othersDifference is used as a basis for inequality o This creates division and resentment that disturbs community lifePrivilege People belonging to privileged groups are reluctant to talk about it o Ex When the subject of racism comes up white people would become silent or become angry as if they were being personally attacked for something they didnt doo Minorities may not bring up the issues they are facing because of the negative reaction of people in these privileged groups o Why does this happenIndividualismIndividualismPeople tend to think in terms of individuals o Society is nothing more than a collection of people living at the same time in the same placeIf we follow this ideology then social problems must come down to flaws in individual character o If evil consequences occur in social life it is because of evil people and their evil ways and motivesIndividualism can be traced to the work of William James a psychologist o Ideology deepened with the work of Freud and his theory of inner motivesYou cant have a social relationship without people to participate in it and make it happen but the people and the relationship arent the same thing o Scatter a thousand trees and all you have is a thousand trees o Take those same trees and it is considered a forestThe same individual trees in one case constitute a forest and in another case are just a lot of trees o The key to understanding social life is neither just the forest nor just the trees Its the forest AND the trees and how theyre related to one another Sociology is the study of how all of this happensSocial SystemsThe Larger things that we participate in The concept of a system refers to any collection of parts or elements that are connected in ways that cohere into some kind of wholePeople can participate in systems without being parts of the systems themselves o People arent systems and systems arent people o Ex Someone walks into a wedding scene because their car broke downSo long as the visitor can accurately identify the social system in which she is participating and her position in relation to it she will be able to behave appropriately without violating the expectations that go with that situationSocial systems can have an existence that we can describe all by itself and exists whether or not anyone is using it at the moment o We view them as external to us and therefore not ours to shape however we pleasePeople arent systems and systems arent people which means that social life can produce horrible or wonderful consequences without necessarily meaning that the people who participate in them are horrible or wonderful o Ex The system of war is cruel but the people who participate in them are soldiers who are braveBecause we occupy a variety of social positions within each system we tend to experience each situation differently We are shaped by it differently limited by it in different ways and therefore tend to participate differentlyPath of Least Resistance Could be reason why people laugh at racist jokes even if they arent racistThe path of least resistance in one system is a path of much greater resistance in the other o This produces Role Conflict
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