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Use sociological terminology to describe the principle sociological perspectives. Describe the different concepts of health:

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P1: use sociological terminology to describe the principle sociological perspectives. The first two perspectives I will describe are the structuralist theories. The theorists for sociological structures are interested in describing and gaining an understanding the main norms and institutions in society. In modern Britain these institutions could include the health services, education providers and the media. The first two approaches I will explain are the functionalist (consensus) model and the Marxist (conflict) model. The functionalist model: The functionalist approach can be dated back as early as Auguste Comte 1798 - 1857. It could be easier to understand his approach by relating it to the body and it consequent parts. For example, the liver, kidneys and the heart work together to make the body function as a whole, therefore society could be studied in terms of the institutions working together to make the it function. The different institutions in society contribute different things; they all work together and have different ways of coping with people who deviate from the norm. For example, the police arrest and imprison those who commit offences and break the law. Functionalists think it is the main role of an institution to socialise individuals and to ensure they knew the values of society and behaved in a socially acceptable manner. The Marxist model: Marxism is a conflict and structuralist model, it was first developed by Karl Marx 1818-1883. Marx believed that individual behaviour was shaped by their environment/society but money controlled society and what roles people could take in society because of their finances. Marxism has two groups of people, the Bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The bourgeoisie are the more important people in society who own the factories and land. The people who own the factories are rich and are able to organise the economy and other important institutions in society to enable them to become richer or better off. ...read more.


Cathy would be described as ill using the positive concept of health because she is not feeling fit and well, this is because she needs water and is not feeling well because of the cigarette smoke from the pub below. Cathy's needs would be addressed by finding the reason why she is not feeling well, after this was determined the practitioner would try to find a resolution, for example, trying to find Cathy new accommodation or referring her to the local authority as a priority. Holistic concept of health: The holistic concept of health is looking at the body as a whole rather than a specific problem; an example could be someone going to the doctor with a headache, using the holistic concept the doctor would try to find out why the person has the headache. The doctor might consider the lighting or noise and could suggest they sit in a quiet and dark room and see if it goes away. However, a non-holistic doctor would prescribe drugs and tell the patient to come back if they get another one. A holistic practitioner would consider illness using all of the PIES needs, the PIES needs are physical, intellectual, emotional and social. Cathy's needs would be physically to have a suitable living environment and be free from the smoke and noise. Intellectually - to be able to work or study and have a sense of self achievement. Emotionally - to feel good about herself and know she is providing the best life for her children, to be able to feel happy and to have a good self-image. Socially- Cathy needs to interact with others and discuss her issues. The holistic practitioner would suggest that Cathy is not feeling her best because of the environment she is living in, the environment is affecting her holistically because she cannot breathe in fresh air whilst t home, she can't study due to the noise, she can't have friends around because she is ashamed that she only has two rooms to live in and doesn't even have a tap. ...read more.


A doctors job is to benefit the employer of the patient and not to put the patient at the heart of provision, the government turn a blind eye to this as well as other health affecting problems, such as, factories who produce noxious waste and the large cars that damage the environment. This could relate to the negative concept of health, because Marxists will be hesitant to provide healthcare for conditions because the bourgeoisie won't want to fund them or end up paying for them through taxation. However, the Bourgeoisie might want to provide healthcare to help an individual get better quicker than if they were left to heal naturally. If the sick worker regains health quickly then they can return back to work and begin to pay taxes again to the bourgeoisie. Marxists would see this as an investment to help the sick worker regain health as soon as possible, although they would be hesitant to provide time off of work as they may become defiant towards society. Unlike functionalists who believe sickness is random and natural, Marxists argue that sickness and ill health is caused by the differences in social classes. For example, there is a higher crime rate and lower life expectancy in areas of poverty. Marxists claim the government do not do anything about this because it will cost money, this money would have to be funded by the richer classes in society. Marxists think that society as a whole should pay to give everyone the same services and opportunities, also doctors shouldn't be paid as much as they are because they are too influential and controlling in society. This is a holistic concept to health because Marxists are looking at what is causing the lower life expectancies and ultimately the ill health. This could also relate to the positive concept of health because Marxists aren't just looking at a specific illness, but all of them in general. Marxists also believe that society is un-equal and the richer are helped to become richer, but the poorer are being left to become poorer and poorer. ...read more.

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