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York University
Social Science
SOSC 2150
Lykke Dela Cour

Understanding Health theories, concepts and disciplinary approaches Studying Health: an social science approach -interdisciplinary studies: -methodological approach that crosses all boundaries between academic disciplines -uses methods and insights of several established disciplines -synthesizes perspectives, knowledge, epistemiology (investigates origin, nature, methods and limits of human knowledge) -largely newer than academic means (history sciences) -merged 1960’s-1970’s, post war -merges info from all social backgrounds (multidisciplinary-single minded) -strong emphasis is based on understanding health as a social-cultural phenomena (not solely biology based) produced by a wide range of factors -race, ethnicity, gender, geographical, regional factors, dominant cultural factors Socio-cultural phenomena: -health is a product of a broad range of factors economical, social, political, ecological, cultural Examine: -how health is produced -lay definitions of health -changing patterns of health -subjective experience of health -cultural meanings associated with illness, disease and disability - how do we view their subjective experience and health Sickness vs. illness -medical doctor tells you -subjective behaviour -physical pain, measurable -not necessarily measurable Theory 1) explanation of observable phenomena 2) analytic tool for understanding and explaining a particular subject matter 3) “scientific” presents evidence and logically argues 4) Critical perspective or theory -the perspective the author writes in, their personal bias -critically think, an educated guess, process by which research/writers integrate the question why -theory is substantiated by its ability to be defended by evidence, a lot of evidence it’s strong-a little is flawed Theory Paradigms Political economy: -economic organization influenced health care and health care systems -based on class (economy) interest,
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