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A Sociological Definition of Health and Illness

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Introduction

Definition of Health and Illness. This essay will begin by discussing the different definitions of health and illness and will also discuss and enable the individual to understand why there are many diffrent definitions of health. It will give a clear defintion and evaluate views of health and illness in different societies. According to the World Health Organisation "health is a complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity" (Taylor et al, 1995) Definitions of health and illness vary, they cannot be defined in terms of anatomical, physiological or even mental attributes. Health is defined as the ability for the individual to function in a way which is acceptable to the group from which they belong. (Davey et al, 1984) The dictionary defines the word health as: "the condition of the body and the degree to which it is free from illness, or the state of being well" (www.cambridge.org.uk accessed 28/1/07) Good health is a mixture of physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing. Health and illness can be defined in many different ways, the holistic concept of health would be viewed as being healthy and having no physical disorders or diseases, and also being emotionaly comfortable. A person who maybe feels anxious or suffers from low self esteem would, according to this theory not be well. People with this view tend to label themselves ill when they suffer from what may be classed as minor symptons such as tiredness, not just phsyical discomfort or pain. ...read more.

Middle

The understanding is that the patient would take the medicine prescribed and get better to then return to their place in society. (Scambler, 2003) When an individual visits a doctor the whole process can be followed through in a number of ways, a paternalistic way would be viewed as control by the doctor, and low patient control describes a situation where the doctor takes control and does what s/he thinks is in the best interest of the patient. A mutual meeting is characterised by the active involvement of patients as more equal partners in the consultation. Another view would be a Consumerist role, this is described as when the patient takes an active role and the doctor adopts a fairly passive one. When a consultation lacks direction this could be classed as a default role, this is when the doctor or the patient takes no control. (www.uwic.ac.uk ,accessed ) Sickness and morbidity can both be measured in many ways, some ways of measuring focus on disease while others are more concerned with illness. When morbidity statistics are examined it is important to be clear which of the two dimensions of health are being focused on. Hospital records hold statistical data which has been produced from consultations with patients and doctors, these give detail of why the individual may have cause to be absent from work. Other sources of information may be recorded through special surveys. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are many ideas, and opinions, on what constitutes good health, or what a meaningfully healthy lifestyle feels or looks like. It could be said that health should be a natural condition, or at least a consistent state of well being. There are some people who accept pain and discomfort in the body as a necessary part of living. They accept this condition because they observe that there are so many people with health complaints and so few people free of problems. It is even taken for granted today that dying of a degenerative disease is acceptable if the person had led a good life. Reference Aggleton.p, Health, 1990, Cox and Wyman Ltd, Routledge, London, UK M.Bartley, D.Blane, G.Davey Smith, The Sociology of Health Inequalities. 1998, Blackwell Publishers Ltd, Oxford, UK. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=36255&dict=CALDl accessed 29/1/07, Cambridge university press 2007. http://www.dh.gov.uk/PublicationsAndStatistics/PressReleases/PressReleasesNotices/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4122137&chk=MXpacX, accessed M.Haralambos, F.Smith, J.O'Gorman, R.Heald, Sociology a New Approach, 1996, Third Edition, Printed by Cambus Litho Ltd, Causeway press Ltd, PO Box, Ormskirk, Lancs, L39 5HP R.Henshaw, B.Howells, Access to Sociology Health, 1999, Hodder & Stoughton, Hodder Headline Plc,338 Euston Road, London, UK G.Scambler, Sociology as Applied to Medicine, 2003, Third Edition, Harcourt Publishers Ltd, Uk R.Smithson, Health & Social Care, 2005, Printed by Scotprint, Haddlington, East Lothian, Phillip Allen Updates, Market Place, Deddington, Oxfordsahire, Uk, P.Taylor,J.richardson, A.Yeo, I.Marsh, K.Trobe, A. Pilkington, Sociology in Focus, 1995, Causeway Press Ltd, The Bath Press, Lower Bristol Road, Bath, UK. S.Taylor,D.Field, Sociology of Health and Health Care, 2003, Third Edition, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Editorial Offices, Garsington Road, Oxford, UK http://www.uwic.ac.uk/shss/dom/newweb/Sick_role/Relationship.htm, accessed .... http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673605715105/fulltext accessed... http://www.ucel.ac.uk/shield/parsons/Default.html Accessed.... ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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