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Unit 7 P2 AND M1 explain different sociological approaches to health and ill health and assess the biomedical and socio-medical models of health

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´╗┐Ruth Green Unit 7, P2 & M1 Tutor-Delroy Mackenzie ________________ P2 There are different approaches to health and ill health in sociology, and these include Functionalism, Marxism, Feminism and Interactionism. The World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1974 defines positive health as a state of complete physical mental, social, spiritual and well-being not merely the absence of disease. The holistic approach is based on addressing the individual?s physical, social, emotional and spiritual health needs. The functionalist approach to health and ill health In the functionalist model, Parsons argued that illness is a form of deviance that disturbs the social function of a society; within the functionalist approach to health it studies the relationship between a sick individual and the society as a whole. Parsons stated that for the society to function efficiently the members of the society must be free from illness and must be of well health. Functionalists argued that stability and cooperation are very crucial for a society to function efficiently; functionalists explain that through the process of socialisation we learn our society?s general norms, values and social roles. An example of this is, saying ?thank you or please? these are some of the values that are treasured within societies, and an example of a social role would be a grandmother fulfilling the role as a grandmother. For the grandmother to fulfil her role, the individual has to look after the grandchildren so that the parents of the children can go work, therefore allowing them to fulfil their role within the society as a doctor, nurse or teacher. ...read more.


There has been several criticisms on the Interactionist approach towards health as some theorists suggest that the approach focuses more on the social relationships than concentrating on the causes of health which may include the explanation and factors that contribute to ill health such as pollution, stress, society and poverty. The main objective of the interactionsts is studying health, impact and the consequences that illness can have on the individual?s life. M1 Within health and social care, there are two main models of health and these are; the biomedical and the social medical model of health. On this assignment, I am going assess these two models, I will look at their strengths and weaknesses. I will look at how both of these models relate to the NHS. Biomedical model The biomedical model approach to health and illness identifies health and illness as ?the absence of disease?. This shows us how the model only focuses on the biological factors. The model does not take into consideration of the psychological, environmental and social influences regarding the individual?s illness. Due to the biomedical model only focusing on the structure and functioning of the body, this is seen as the dominant Western scientific approach to medicine for health care professionals to diagnose and treat diseases and illness within Western countries. The positive aspect of the biomedical model is that it has advanced techonology to help with serious biological illnesses. ...read more.


This may include: alcohol abuse, smoking, misuse of drug intake and diet. In addition, these factors can lead to ill heath, which can result in the increase of death rate and infant mortality. Rogers and Pilgrim emphasise the correlation between the two models as it can be demonstrated unequivocally that social stress is in correlation with the social class. Relating to the Marxist critique of the bio-medical model as it is a direct consequence of capitalism that a class that is more at risk to contract illness through sue to the cause of economic status. Some sociology theorists may believe that the medical profession is under the educated upper classes who are interested in keeping the lower class content while using the workforce for growth and economy. In conclusion both of these models have some strengths and weaknesses, for example the bio medical model of health tries to ensure there is an absence of ill health and the socio medical models tries to focus on the environment and social factors in order to prevent ill health. However, the bio medical only focuses on the individual and it ignores the environment, which might be a contributing factor towards the individual?s illness. In addition the socio medical model of health does not assess the causes of ill health genetically or research in depth. Moreover, both of these models on there are own are very weak, but together they work really well as they would both be looking at the individual holistically. In addition the models can be seen as two complementary approaches to the study of health and illness. ...read more.

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