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Use sociological terminology to describe the principal sociological perspectives.

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Introduction

Use sociological terminology to describe the principal sociological perspectives. P1 Bukola Adedeji Sociology is based on the idea that just a little of an individual's behaviour is instinctive and the rest is learnt by socialisation. Socialisation shows the process in which individuals learn the culture of their society which language, values and beliefs, customs and acceptable behaviour. Primary socialisation is apparently the most important period of socialisation and it takes place in an individual's early years. Secondary socialisation carries on as our social life develops through playgroups, nursery, school, friendship or peer groups, religious groups, the media and employment. Functionalism Functionalist perspectives view illness as a form of deviance and ill people are seen as performing a social role - sick role. If people are declared ill, specific right and responsibility comes with this new role. The rights associated with the sick role include * To be exempt from normal social obligation * To be cared for Responsibility * Taking all the steps to get better * Co-operating with medical staff to get better The functionalist view is that illness has a social consequence and must be swiftly dealt with, where possible, for the smooth running of society Marxism Marxist perspectives believe that the definitions of health and illness, and the health and care services provided, serve the interests of the powerful dominant social classes Doctors are seen as agents to ensure that people go back to work as soon as possible, their job is to provide companies with a healthy work force while the government allows companies to make profits from products that cause ill health e.g. junk food and waste etc. Unlike functionalist, who regard illness as something that happens randomly, Marxists see levels of illness as related to class structure The Marxism perspective was developed by Karl Marx (1818-83). Marx held the view that in the industrial society of his time there were two social classes: * The Bourgeoisie are members of the upper class whose power comes from employment, education and wealth. ...read more.

Middle

This involves joint action from communities, government, voluntary agencies and the health service to create healthy alliances. The socio-medical model sits more easily with the conflict theorists than the functionalist. The conflict theorist would explain the shorter life expectancy and relatively higher rates of ill health among the poor as a consequence of the inequalities in society and the life circumstances of the disadvantaged. The poor, they would say, are more likely to have inadequate diets, live in damp houses, often in inner city areas where the impact of unemployment and environmental pollution is highest. The ruling groups in society, the politicians and the owners of industries, are not willing, they would say, to make the changes that would be necessary to protect the poor from ill health and disease. The Bio-Medical model The dominant paradigm of the Western medical science has been the Bio-Medical Model. The bio-medical model is based on two fundamentals assumptions - reductionism and materialism. Reductionism is the view that an individual can be understood by studying his or her smallest constituent parts. From this perspective, illness can be understood by examining biochemical processes. Materialism is the view that individuals are physical beings whose existence and functions can be explained solely by the principles of physiology, anatomy and biochemistry. Inherent in this model is the view that psychological processes are unimportant in determining health. So from the perspective of the biomedical model, disease is a disruption in biological structures caused by some physical or chemical factor. Intervention, would involve the introduction of a corrective physical or chemical agent. One might typify this model as a one cause one cure paradigm. Interventions that don't involve a biological or chemical manipulation are not considered medicine. This model has no room for the social, culture, psychological or behavioural dimensions of disease. The bio-medical model also dominates psychiatric clinical practice and research as illustrated by the fact that 86% of papers presented at the 1992 annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association were bio-medically oriented, and nearly all department of psychiatry are now chaired by persons committed to biomedical research. ...read more.

Conclusion

What is implied is that people unwittingly harm themselves or their children by the excessive consumption of harmful commodities, refined foods, tobacco, alcohol or by lack of exercise or by their underutilisation of preventive health care, vaccination, antenatal surveillance or contraception. Some would argue that such systematic behaviour within certain social groups is a consequence only of lack of education, or of shiftlessness, foolishness or other individual traits. The poor lifestyle choices were linked to a range of chronic illnesses including heart disease, some form of cancer, bronchitis and diabetes. For many in economically deprived circumstances, smoking and alcohol, sadly, help them cope with their difficult circumstances. It is their difficult circumstances that lead to their lifestyle choices not the other way around. The problem with this notion is that individual decision-making must always be seen in the context of the social structure and of the constraints that impede the behaviours of the people placed in different locations in the social structure. Material or structural explanations Material or structural explanations argue that morbidity and mortality are a result of material conditions. Those born into poor families are more likely to live in substandard houses and poor neighbourhoods, have inferior health care services or no health care resources at all, have limited access to education and hence fewer opportunities for employment or be employed in low-skilled, low-paid occupations that are highly dangerous. The cultural explanations have been linked to materialist explanations, suggesting that people who live in poverty have behaviours and cultural beliefs that are illness producing. Different groups in a society have different habits and beliefs that may not be health enhancing. It may be that poverty, rather than cultural beliefs and habits, creates certain unhealthy ways of being in the world. The way in which materialist understanding and control are drawn to each other, as expressed in the theses, is socially embodied; it reflects historical conditions and the dominance of social institutions that, along with such other values as (especially today) those of multinational capital and free markets, manifest the modern value scheme of control. ...read more.

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