WGS 2240 Midterm: MHS Definitions Test 1

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MHS Definitions
1. Social determinants = conditions in which people grow, work, and age
a. Safe neighborhoods
b. E.g. SES, education level, physical environment, etc.
c. These factors have a significant impact on health outcomes for example, in the
case study of Big Sugar, we saw how a capitalism (social determinant) can lead to
companies prioritizing their profit over consumers’ health (leading to obesity).
2. Intersectionality = Multiple, overlapping disadvantages that disproportionately affect
particular populations
a. Important to understand that disadvantages multiply rather than add, and that for
example, someone who is not only of low SES but also gay and black in the United
States experiences much worse health inequality than someone who is just black or
just gay.
3. Structural barrier = rules, policies, or practices that systematically and implicitly make it more
difficult for some group to access a resource
a. E.g. abortion prerequisites in TX
b. Structural barriers, such as the abortion prerequisites in TX, make access to certain
services much more difficult for certain groups of people, in this case low SES
women, and ultimately perpetuate the already existing gap between women of low
SES and women of higher SES.
4. Neocolonialism = The use of economic governance to exercise control or influence a
country that was previously colonized (AKA governance by corporations)
a. Perpetuates the already existing health disparities between nations of the global north
and global south by supporting the economic reliance of poorer nations of the global
north, ultimately preventing the poorer nations from evolving health infrastructure
and developing economically.
b. Scramble for Africa higher education institutions are exploited resource poor
regions for test subject for students, bypassing dignify laws, perpetuating health
inequalities that exist in those regions
5. Biopower = This term refers to the idea that nations or organizations can police or manage
peoples powers through regulatory actions that become internalized over time
a. The impact of biopower is that the government is able to control how we live an
example being the food pyramid and how it has been internalized and Americans
now assume we need grains, but in reality, grains are not a necessary food group.
6. Proximate cause = Biosocial factors located in immediate physical social environment that
directly affect health outcomes
a. E.g. exercise, smoking, food choices, etc.
b. Theses causes are often attributed to be the source of a health disparity and become
the focus of studies and policies aimed to prevent illness (such as drinking soda as a
cause of obesity), when in reality, research should focus on more distal factors that
impact these proximate causes, ultimately leading to health disparity.
7. Weak ties = Weak interpersonal ties are relationships between two individuals that are
merely acquaintances at most, and generally have little contact in their daily lives.
a. These ties are important because according to Granovetter, they provide for the
spread of a rich, novel array of information because the people you are weakly
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