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Chapter 19

SOC 1100 Chapter 19: Chapter 19 - Health and Inequality

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SOC 1100
Lisa Kowalchuk

Chapter 19 - Health and Medicine The Black Death • the plague is the most devastating catastrophe in human history • caused by germs, bacillus, the spread from fleas to rats and spread easily amongst humans because they weren't very cleanly and they all lived close together • those that survived the plague were those that could afford to move out to the country and the jews because their religion required them to wash their hands before meals, bathe regularly, and bury the dead soon after their death • the pope sat beside fires in order to breathe pure air and heat killed the plague thus the pop survived a professor said that in order to survive people should refrain from eating poultry, waterfowl, • pork, beef, fish, olive oil, they shouldn't sleep during the day, and should refrain from engaging in excessive exercise • death due to infectious disease decreased due to advances in agriculture and transportation which meant vegetables and fruits could be easily accessed, hygiene improved, and the introduction of vaccines eradicated the seriousness of diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis • health risks are unevenly distributed (men vs women, lower vs upper class, racial/ethnic groups, privileged vs disadvantaged), thus making medicine a sociological issue • medieval doctors didn't have to have qualifications so barbers could double as doctors, so this chapter looks at how medieval doctors gained substantial control over health issues Health and Inequality • measure a populations health by looking at death rate, types of disease, etc • infant mortality rate: the number of deaths before the age of 1 for every 100 live births in a population in one year • morbidity rate: the number of people who suffer from particular illnesses per 100,000 members of a population • surveys show how people view their own health status • life expectancy: the average age at death of the members of a population • a population with a longer life expectancy is said to be healthier • epidemiological transition: refers to the shift from a society characterized by infectious and parasitic disease and low life expectancy to a society where chronic and degenerative diseases dominate and life expectancy is high • Canada has made a epidemiological transition, going from a country where mostly attributable to infectious disease to a longer life expectancy • Canada has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, is only beat by a few European countries and Japan • in some countries prone to war, and developing countries that are prone to diseases and bacteria have life expectancies as low as 45 • longest living women was 122, and longest living man was 116, on average women live longer than men • individual factors of health are biological (genetic predisposition) and behaviour (choosing to smoke/eat an unhealthy diet) • people often blame the ill for being ill (example: when one has lung cancer they say well its their fault they chose to smoke) • the factors we blame the ill for vary based on gender, race, ethnicity, social class, thus proving that although e exercise free will our choices are driven by social context Canadas diabetes rate has doubled over the decade, social reasons for this are that • processed food are less expensive then buying fresh fruits and vegetables, poor neighbourhoods have more fast food restaurants than grocery stores • thus we cannot expect people to eat healthier without providing accessibility to healthier foods • socioeconomic gradient in health: the existence of a positive correlation between socioeconomic position and health • risk of death is higher for the bottom fifth of the economy in Canada • class is tied to health because having money means you can buy things to sustain good health, people with a higher education have better jobs and better job security but also have more knowledge on how to stay healthy • disadvantaged racial and ethnic group experience a higher risk of disease and death than do advantaged racial and ethnic groups • diabetes is higher amongst Aboriginals because Aboriginals are more likely to live in poverty, poverty can cause a change in biology of children and cause them to be more prone to illness later in life • discrimination due to race can push people to turn to drugs and health-harming behaviours in order to cope instead of seeking help • aboriginals were forced off their reserves which changed their hunting and ability to grow vegetables • residential schools and the society from which aboriginal culture was raised lead to generations of abuse and neglect because residential schools gave aboriginal children little lessons on parenting, thus the health outcomes are due to social forces as well as individual choices • in countries like India and China, women aren't wanted, so people have abortions due to wanting a son, and women are more likely to be married off in childhood, this makes them prone to domestic violence, sexually transmitted diseases, she will be economically dependent, not have the right to say no to sex or to say use a condom • in countries like Canada where men and women have equal rights and are treated more or less equally there is much less health difference • women are less prone to heart attack until they reach menopause, although they develop heart conditions approximately 10 years after men, more women are likely to die from heart disease later in life than men • women are more likely to be misdiagnosed and thus receive improper treatments, males are more representative in trials and thus treatments
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