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HLTH 101 Mid-term notes 2011

Health Studies
Course Code
HLTH 101
Elaine Power
Study Guide

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Malcolm Gladwell
magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips and spreads like
ideas, behavior, messages and products sometime behave like infectious disease-“social
in terms of human population we are in exponential growth
his point is that for years nothing happened in population growth, than with one person standing
out for change, everything changes, and like the example in Tunisia everything changed when
one meant lit himself on fire to make a difference
Principles of Social Epidemics
oThey are contagious behaviors
oThey are little changes that have such a huge effect on people
oThese changes happen in a huge rush and very fast, once the tipping point has
been reached
Tipping point
We are at several tipping points in change
Environmental, economic/financial, government./politics/democracy, religious institutions,
human suffering
According to Allan G. Johnson (the forest and the trees)
The study of individuals and society and how they are related to each other
The one think that sociology offers that is different from what other aspects offer is that we are
focusing on something that is larger than ourselves
In order to see something bigger we nee to understand it better
Some sociologist see the discipline as a descriptive one
Others see it as a normative discipline (prescriptive)
Concerns how things should be how they ought to be rather than how they actually are.

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Public Health
A normative field of study and profession
Concerns on how things should be, how they out to be rather than how the actually are
The goal of the field of public health: to improve the heath of the whole population
Normative disciplines
Are profoundly moral- in the deep and broad sense of seeking the essence of who we are as
human being and as society
Seek to understand human suffering and social injustice in order to alleviate it- need systematic
ways to undertand problems
There are alternative ways or organizing ourselves “a better world is possible”
Allan G Johnsons words
We need to change things in order to fix it
We have to get the route of the problem, we can not just look at the surface
Other ways to improve our health
Reduce poverty
Reduce income inequality
Improve opportunities for higher education
Reduce homelessness
Reduce racism and discrimination
Reduce gender inequality
“A what of thinking that encourages us to explain the work in terms of what goes on inside
individuals and nothing else
Society is just a collection of individuals

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This is the main way of thinking about responsibility
There is only people and no society, this is how people think of health
If there is only individuals who are responsible for racism
Effects how we think about social life and how we make sense of the world
Blame individuals for problems and expect individuals to pi problems
Problems with individualism
Ignored the difference between individuals who participate in social life and the relationships
that connects them to one another and o groups and societies
Personal solutions cant solve social problems
People aren’t systems and systems aren’t people and if we forget that were likely to focus on the
wrong thinks in truing to solve our problems
If you think there is only individuals you will never be able to fix the problem
Social Systems
Are not “things but rather ongoing processes
Constantly being created and re-created as people do things to make them happen
They can and do change
What is health?
“official” expert definitions of health
negative definitions (disease oriented)
obiomedical model
positive definitions (holistic)
osocial models
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