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sosc2150-sept17. Understanding Health.docx

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York University
Social Science
SOSC 2150
Lykke Dela Cour

Understanding health: Theories and concepts 1 Lecture September 17,2012 Lecture Outline: I) Theorizing Health – developing ‘critical perspectives’ Two dominant views- shaping our concepts of health  Biomedical: health is defined and or measured by the absence of disease in the body; more increasingly today is the biological markers that suggest that you may be at risk of contracting a particle disease. o Risks o Largely adhered to by the medical profession and those working in the health care fields o Since the second world war the society can really afford high status of health and medical institution o Example: genetics only 1-2% determinates your health  Question: are your social determinates impacting your health  Breast cancer- if it was so predetermined less women should be getting cancer o The bio-medical view has become a culture view  The challenges are coming from the social determinates perspective  The alternative perspective  Health promotion: It is our life style that determinates out health, o Eating o Risky behaviour- drinking, drugs, smoking o Promoted culturally- media, t.v. ads etc.. II) Theoretical Paradigms Theoretical perspective: Theory- definition:  explanation of observable phenomena  tries to explain “why”  analytic tool for understanding and explaining a particular subject matter  generally those who are gaged in the practice of theory use rational thought or logic  presents evidence and logically argues- the claims need to be backed up with evidence to provide thoughts Example: racism in Canada- critical race theory would argue that racism is a key system of racism in society and to provide this theory they would present historical and contemporary evidence- they develop an explanation to racism etc…  in university research is to engage in developing or advancing theory as to why something  theories also helps us look at the things we take for granted  theorizing is important to get us thinking about the world us  critical perspective Understanding health: Theories and concepts 2 Lecture September 17,2012 ◦Political Economy:  analyzes phenomena in terms of economic and political environments- pay attention to the political and economic concept of society and how they shape the social structures and shape how it operates within society  in health studies, ways that the economic organization of society influences health patterns, health care systems and cultural conceptualization of health  pay particular attention to: o class and capitalist modes o Social categories: gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation and identity, disability etc…  Most evident in social science and the development of the social determinates of health o Framework
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