Sociology – Health and Medicine CH 21

Health –
a state of complete physical, mental and social well being
Social epidemiology –
the study of how health and disease are distributed throughout a society’s population
Eating disorder –
disorder that involves an intense form of dieting or other unhealthy method of weight control driven by the desire to be very thin
Euthanasia –
assisting in the death of a person suffering from an incurable disease; also known as mercy killing
Medicine –
the social institution that focuses on fighting disease
Holistic medicine –
approach to health care that emphasizes prevention of illness and takes into account a person’s entire physical and social environment
Socialized medicine –
medical care system in which the government owns and operates most medical facilities and employs most physicians
Direct fee system –
a medical care system in which patients pay directly for the services of physicians and hospitals
Health maintenance organization (HMO) –
organization that provides comprehensive medical care to subscribers for a fixed fee
Cultural patterns define health
Standards varies from place to place Conformity – social control
Cultural standards can change over time -Cigarettes
1970 – 38 cents + 18 cents tax per pack
2011 – $5.62 + $2.35 tax per pack
Society shapes people’s health
Cultural patterns define health
Culltural standards can change over time
A society technology affects health
Social inequality affects health
Talcott Parsons (1951, Harvard) Grand Theory
The sick role” – patterns of health socially appropriate
Being ill is temporary – special form of deviance
Exemption from normal social responsibility (certification by authority)
Exemption from the responsibility of being ill
Obligated to want to get well
Seek out help
Link and Phelan (1995)
Socioeconomic Status (SES)
Socioeconomic Status (SES)
A fundamental cause of illness and mortality
Money, Knowledge, Prestige,Power, Access to social connections
Chronic Illness
70% of all deaths in the US (CDC) (1.7 million)
75% of all healthcare spending
Health disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, respiratory disease, obesity, oral conditions (mouth and throat)