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Week 1 Readings.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Grace Barakat

oWeek 1 Reading #1: Explaining Geographies of Health Positivist Explanation -looking for order or spatial patterning in a set of data -emphasizes, via mapping and spatial analysis, what is observable and measurable. -classically positivist account would have, as its end goal, a search for laws, though weaker versions strive simply to make generalizations -the concern in positivist approaches to the geography of health is usually to detect areal pattern or to model the way in which disease incidence varies spatially -Location and spatial arrangement matter - a positivist medical geography typically involves mapping disease data and then striving to describe and explain the spatial distribution -adopting a biomedical perspective. Body is seen as a machine -Criticism: individual is a rather anonymous person whose features and characteristics can be ticked off on a checklist. Critics of this perspective argue that it is reductionist -in general, relies on the use of quantitative, usually statistical methods -Location and distance are key variables in a positivist approach is seen not only in the study of health and disease but also in the study of health care and its delivery. Rational planning demands the organization of services on an efficient basis, such that the costs of overcoming distances are minimized -Hierarchical diffusion: in which patterns appearing subsequent maps are structured by the flows of people, along the major transport arteries, initially among the largest urban centers and then to smaller towns. -Contagious diffusion: more local. Appear to operate, in which physical proximity matter more than the leapfrogging of geographical space and spread down the urban hierarchy -Location-allocation methods: given limited resources where should we locate health services? How should patients be allocated to particular health centers or hospitals. Particular location-allocation models propose different location criteria, typically minimizing the aggregate distance traveled from place to residence to the health center. -summary: positivist accounts focus on the observable, the measurable, and the generalizable. Individual characteristics might be recorded, but nowhere is there a concern for individual meaning Social Interactions Approach -views of ordinary people have as much status as those of the health professionals -the emphasis is on the meaning of the illness or disease to the individual -study small numbers -methods are typically qualitative rather than qu
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