SOCIOLOGY IN HEALTH
According to World Health Organization, health can be considered as a state of complete physical, mental and social well being of a person and not the mere absence of disease or infirmity. This means that the definition of health takes a holistic approach in that it does not assess health in terms of diseases or infirmity alone. This arises from the fact that there are many factors that determine the health status of a person. The well being of an individual is contributed by many integrating factors. The medical definition of health may be more leaned to presence or absence of a disease condition but the social definition of health includes many other factors which affect the functioning of a person. A person may be free of any illness or deformity but the social factors that surround that person may play a great role in determining the well being of that person. :Best Laser Hair Removal solution offer by Advanced Derma Laser in New York at affordable cost. Call today for a free consultation @(212) 223-2235.Buckley Chang Eye Institute – Colorado Springs Top Eye Surgeon.
Health of a person can be contributed by factors that affect the physical, mental and social well being of a person. What does this imply? This implies that the state of physical fitness, mental fitness and social life of a person is very crucial in determining the well being of an individual. Let’s take an example of a person where one of his/her closest friend has died. The bereaved will be left mourning for days. The bereaved is left with a great burden of a stressful life which adversely affects his/her wellbeing. This may at the end bring death as an aspect of serious illness due to the accompanying effect of that death. This means that although the person may be physically and mentally fit, the social effect of losing a loved one may be a great factor contributing to the health status of the person. (Department of Health, 2002)Clarus Eye Centre – Olympia Washington LASIK Eye Surgery.
There are two important reports that depicted the inequalities in health care, The Black report of 1980 and the Heath Divide Report of 1987. Both of these reports identified the failure by the HNS to address the issue of inequalities in health opportunities in the country. Both reports came out with clear indications of inequalities in British class system. The outcomes of the reports were further evidenced by the department of Health and Social Security which in 1993 also pointed out existence of differences in social class and geographical locations as reflected in mortality and morbidity rates. This report indicated the life expectancy at birth in 1994 was 78 years for women and 72 years for men. It also pointed out the increased likelihood of men dying from heat disease and women form cancer. Our analysis of the health inequality will be based on these two reports.Laser Hair Removal NYC:Best Laser Hair Removal solution offer by Advanced Derma Laser in New York at affordable cost. Call today for a free consultation @(212) 223-2235.
Concepts involved in the social construction of health and illness.
Social construction can be considered in terms of patterns of health as expressed in aspects of social class. Social construct tries to define social aspect of health that leads to heath status of individuals. It looks closely to health in terms of various factors like the health of family members, health of communities and heath of nations. Social construction is seen as a broader outlook in the health of a population in above perspectives.wholesale organic food suppliers -Maca Supplier Maca Powder Manufacturers Maca raw material we offer organic maca products in bulk and wholesale prices for importers and distribuitors
Social construction looks at health in terms of health of family members. Using this outlook it seeks to look at factors that determine the health of family member. It recognizes the family as the basic unit of life in the society. Social construction seeks to look at the factors that affect the health status of member of a family which have an effect on the health of the community and that of the nation as a whole. Being the building block of a nation, the heath of family members is of paramount importance if a nation is to achieve overall heath well being. In a society, there are different families. Although there are segmentations in the society, the family can be considered as the basic unit of the society. A society is usually inhabited by different kinds of families in different classes and of different ethnic groups. In a society there may be two families one in an upper class segment and the other in a lower class segment. Usually the heath status of these families will be different. Looking at the family level, the level of income of these families will be a determinant of health status of its members. Hence at the family level, there will be factors that will be affecting the health status of its members. (Blane et al., 1996. Mapacho Mapacho, Mapacho Supplier, Buy Mapacho. Shamandealer is quality supplier of Mapacho Tobacco Logs Nicotiana tobacum. which causes a cleansing of the body in general, especially in the chest area and airways.
At the society level, a society is affected by different communities that may be defined by different bonding factors. These factors may be religion, ethnic, class factors and others which may create different communities in the society. Again as there were factors affecting the health status of family members, there will be factors that will be affecting the heath status of different community members. One of the factors that have been found to contribute to health status of community members and which shows inequities in the heath care system has been the issue of ethnic groups and social classes in the society. It has been found out that minority ethnic groups have poor health status as compared to major ethnic groups. This has been found to be contributed by many different factors
In a broad outlook, the health of different societies affects the health of a nation. A nation is made up of societies which together comprise one society under one name the nation. We may talk of a British society living in Britain but which is made of other small societies living in different parts of Britain. The health of a nation is determined by health policies that have been put in place by the government. It is to be understood that these health polices are very important in determining the health of the family members, communities and the nation as a whole.
It is generally accepted that there are various inequalities in health care provisions. These differences are valid according to various factors. The patterns of inequality in health care provisions varies depending on place, gender, age, year of births, ethnicity and many other factors. However it should be understood that these differences varies with different measure of health that are used in assessing the inequality.
There are different perspectives to health that have helped to shape the modern day’s health system. According to the Marxist perspective, the capitalist society defines health as the inability to work. This definition is mostly envisaged in the hands of the middle class professionals who diagnose who is ill and who is not ill. In this perspective the working class is more likely to be perceived as malingerers. In this perspective, ill health is seen as an objective of physical ailment which diverts attention from the class based inequalities of illness and disease. This perspective puts profit before health which drives the consumption pattern among the working class of the society. This perspective emphasizes more on profit before the health of the individual, which is reflected in the lifestyle.
On the other hand, the functionalist perspective views each institution as a function. It postulates that ill health is normal and must be identifies and resolved to satisfy the majority. It is this perspective that gives the health professionals high status in the society. Doctors assume the role of monitoring the patients and limiting their absence from work and family roles. According to this perspective, there are varieties in the health care and people have a choice to the health care to use. Hence the inequality in health here is brought by the fact that some people make better use of health facilities than others. This perspective puts more hope on the upcoming technology to help resolve the issues of medical care in the future.
According to the interactionist perspective, people derive meaning from events an act on their interpretations. People create meaning in their lives through symbolic communications and interpretations to make sense of the world. This perspective views health and illness as social constructs which results from labels attached by professionals following a process of negotiation which is actually due to the power of doctors and medical staff. In this perspective, doctors have a role in managing of the patients by restricting the information they give to the patients.
The feminist perspective view biological models which turn women into reproductive machines. According to this perspective there is protection of patriarchy by defining women as abnormal. This perspective represents the inequality in health that women suffer in the hands of men. It fights for gender equity in provision of health care.
The evaluation of the above perspective in health gives critical evidence that it is still difficult for us to exactly define health in the society. This is duet to the different perspective as expressed above which all seems to take one side. While the capitalist perspective will be arguing more on the need to have private health care, other perspective seems to stress the need to have public health care. The approach that has been taken by the government has been more of a capitalist approach although there is evidence that private health care can help in resolving health inequality. The feminist perspective tries to tackle the gender inequality in health care since it takes the biological model of women to emphasize the need to have more women access health care.
The relationship between culture and perceptions of health, including body image
Although there are many definitions of health, there are some key aspects of the definition that appear to be common. All the definitions have taken in the concepts of health to include culture, age, gender and class. As we described earlier, health is defined as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” according to WHO (1948). This brings together different models that try to define health. Aliven Tarlov (1996) describes health as “an individual’s capacity in relation to aspirations and potential for living fully in the social environment”. This perhaps explains our cultural belief of health. We tend to believe that we are healthy if we are functioning properly which means we are going on with our daily duties as required. Our cultural perspectives of health is further integrated in our ethical approach to heath which shows that heath is seen as a reward for living according to the divine while ill heath is seen as a form of punishment for going against the divine powers. This means that our state of health is dependant on our characteristics.
The health of an individual is portrayed in different images of our body. The core of our heath is our biological functioning of out body. This is because if our body is not functioning well we will suffer from ill health. From our biological functioning there come aspects of physical and mental heath. This is determined by our biological functioning and our social life. Hence social life and the attendance to our daily roles depends our health. The wellbeing of all these factors defines our quality of life which is actually our state of health. Out health status further as individuals affects the heath status of our family and in larger extent our society since individuals makes up the families and the society.
Hence we can say that our body image and the image of our families and society is very dependant on our health. However there is a great interaction between those factors of health since sick individual make sick families which in turn make sick societies. Those are the factors that make the heath of a nation. It then translates that in our cultural perspective, there is a social dimension of interaction and reliability. While the society will want to have a heath population, it has the duty of ensuring that it plays its role in ensuring that the health of individual person is taken care of.
Definition of social class within a theoretical framework in relation to health
In a normal definition, a social class can be defined as a group of people living in a society who share some common characteristics. The issue of social class however takes a broader meaning in terms of provision of heath but uses the same concept. Social class is an aspect of social construction and is a major determinant of inequalities in health. Reports have indicated differences in class systems in Britain which has affected access to health. These studies social class has been represented in terms of economic occupation of the person although this classification is still seen as a problem. (Bartley et al., 1997)
There emerge three main classes as far as matters providing health care concerned and all the three classes show different health demographics. There are upper class, middle class and lower class each with different health characteristics as defined by their lifestyles. These characteristics affect their health in the same way. For example Blaxter (1990) showed that if a middle and working class individual was subjected to the same level of stress and life style condition like a lower class person, then the middle class person will definitely fall ill.
The issue of class in the society her is portrayed as contributed by unequal distribution of resources in terms of income, job prospects and others. Wilkinson (1993), found out that countries with the highest life expectancy were not those which had wealth but rather those which had achieved some form of equity in distribution of resources among the population., hence the aspect of access to resources comes out strong as an important determinant of class and access to health.
Key points arguments of the main sociological theories of social class in relation to health
Sociologists have tried to put forward some theories which try to explain different aspect of social class that affect access to health care. There is a general agreement that the factor of distribution of resources is paramount to the definition of culture. However sociologists have also come up with the notion of ‘relative deprivation’ as a theory that can help to explain the social class inequality in health. It asserts that there is a tendency of relative deprivation which is expressed in the feeling that one is not living the life regarded as normal by others. This has an effect of eroding self esteem which leading to increased stress accompanied by behaviour which may have adverse effects on health of the individual. For example, one may skip the use of a necessary heath commodity in order to use other things which make them feel like others in other classes. This is mostly infested in matters concerning diets and essential medicine.
This concept is mostly seen in the lower class segment of the population who may try to use some commodities which is out of their income in order to feel like they are in the other class. In doing so, they forego some essential commodities needed for their heath. However the same concept may be observed in a population in the same class where someone in the same class may be struggling to be at per with others and in the process forego some important health needs. In the longer term the concept of relative deprivation may have adverse effects on the health of the individual.