CAS SO 215 Study Guide - Fall 2018, Comprehensive Midterm Notes - Socioeconomic Status, Mortality Rate, Life Expectancy

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Published on 12 Oct 2018
School
Boston University
Department
Sociology
Course
CAS SO 215
Professor
CAS SO 215
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
Fall 2018
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9/4/18
Introduction
Sociology = sociological enterprise = effort to explore the relationship between
individual biography and social structure (C. Wright Mills)
o How we interact w social world, impact of interactions on world and us
o Social structure = patterned institutionalized social arrangement ie. race,
class, gender, religion, family, law
Causes and consequences of human behavior
Sociology is not common sense
o Common sense = tacit knowledge from life experience
o Useful, but based on non-rigorous rules, routine and familiarity, limited
experience and knowledge
Concept Anchoring: references are biased based on limited knowledge and
experience
Sociology distinguishes itself from other social sciences
o Diversity of methods ie. ethnography, interviews, content analysis
o Diversity of theoretical approaches (ties to classical thinkers), building
and contributing to theories to enhance understanding of the world
o Interest in building sociological theory
o Different emphases in related disciplines (anthropology, economics,
political science)
o Some areas of overlapping interests (ie. political sociology, comparative
historical sociology)
Sociology and Economics
o Economics is all about how people make choices, sociology is all about
how they don’t have any choices to make (John Duesenberry)
o Sociology just shows us how constrained we are
Origins of sociology
o Reaction from ideas of enlightenment (18th century)
o Suggested a need to look for natural laws
o Emphasis on individual rather than social
o Classical sociology imagined things as society more important
Medical Sociology
o Focuses on the social causes and consequences of health and illness
Social facets of health and disease: how does being black, gay,
poor affect your health and healthcare?
Social behavior of healthcare personnel and patients
Social functions of health organization and institutions
Social patterns of utilization of health services
Relationship of healthcare systems to other systems to other
social institutions
Politics of social policies related to health
o Research doesn’t need to be US-based, but it often is
o Theories travel
o Healthcare is only 1 determinant of health: there are many, work
environment, education, housing, employment
o Medical sociology is important bc health is not matter of biology, but
involves many factors that are cultural, political, economic, and especially
social in nature
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9/6/18
Viruses like Ebola and Marburg
o Hemorrhagic fever, high death rate
o Fast onset
o Marburg has no vaccine or treatment, affects coagulation
o Ebola
Doctors without borders - helped most during Ebola outbreak 2016
o Frail healthcare in countries where outbreak first occurred, limited access
to healthcare
o Military, others brought in to help as well, but relied heavily on DWB
Epidemiology
Relatively recent emerging field
Epidemiology = Study of the origin and distribution of health problems in
the population from the collection of data from many different sources
o Primary focus not on the individual but on the health problems of social
aggregates
Epidemiologist investigates sick and setting where people became ill
o Look for common denominators, link victims to determine and eliminate
cause
o Draw on knowledge and research techniques of several scientific fields
o Not just concerned with communicable, and noncommunicable as well
Case = episode of a disorder, illness, injury
Incidence = number of new cases of a specific health disorder occurring
within a given population during a stated period of time
Prevalence = total number of cases of a health disorder that exist at any
given time (includes new and pre-existing)
o Point prevalence: number of cases at a certain point in time (day or week)
o Period prevalence: number during specified period (month or year)
o Lifetime prevalence: number during lifetime
Ex. Influenza outbreak
Incidence might be low because there are not new cases
Prevalence still high because many people are sick now
Mortality Rate
o (Total deaths of all ages, 2010 / Estimated US pop, 2010) x 1000 = 2010
DR
o = 799.5 deaths per 100,000 population
o Crude rates often too general to be meaningful
o Sociologists typically concerned with effects of variables within a
population, such as age, sex, race, occupation (sociologists are
interested in stratifying subpopulations, to identify where differences lie)
Computing ratios: next step, in order to develop an accurate description of a
particular health problem in relation to a particular population
o Involves collecting data from a variety of sources, including face-to-face
interviews or reports by practitioners or agencies
o Ie. how is the gay black population doing with HIV/AIDS?
o (Cases)/(Population)
o Simplest ratio = crude rates
o Infant mortality rate: level of prosperity of society, standard of living
More useful than just mortality rate, more specific and helpful to
determine standards of living
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Document Summary

Incidence might be low because there are not new cases: prevalence still high because many people are sick now, mortality rate (total deaths of all ages, 2010 / estimated us pop, 2010) x 1000 = 2010. Involves collecting data from a variety of sources, including face-to-face interviews or reports by practitioners or agencies. Ie. how is the gay black population doing with hiv/aids? (cases)/(population: simplest ratio = crude rates. Snow and the 1854 cholera outbreak: gross human curiosity, significance of bacteria in world. Impact of including names: forefather of epidemiology. Investigation of social world: disease has social causes, cultural change happens, one paradigm replaces another. How would urban planning and development be different if john snow hadn"t. Possible discussion questions: figured out the origin of cholera? when there are ways to access pure water in a first world country like the us. Why do we allow people to live without clean water in places like flint, michigan.

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