Sociological perspectives to health and ill-health, with an assessment of the biomedical and socio-medical models of health.

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           P1: Explain different sociological approaches to health and ill health.

              M1: Assess the Bio-medical and socio-medical models of health.

In this essay I will be discussing the sociological approaches to ill health& health whilst assessing the biomedical & socio-medical issues and linking them to the given scenario. There are four particular approaches that I will be focussing on these are: Functionalism, Marxism, Interactionism and Feminism.

The functionalist approach to health & ill health is a statement which was inspired by the work of Talcott Parsons. He concluded that in order for a society to function correctly & effectively all the members within the society must be healthy. Those within the society that were sick would be seen as a barrier that stops society from progressing. These people were also seen as deviant & their role in society was labelled the ‘sick role’ which also came with rights & responsibilities. If you were declared sick you were immune from going to: school, college, work and social & family obligations. This also made responsibilities for the family as Parsons believed it was a key function and their duty to care for the other sick or dependent members of the family. However, just because one is labelled ‘sick’ in society this does not mean they are free of responsibilities. They also have a few which include co-operating with medical professionals & also taking all steps to get better so they everything will be able to run smoothly again.  This links to the scenario given. Tamsela has asthma and her father has bronchitis. The children also have permanent colds in the winter this could have an impact on Aziz and tamsela because the children’s colds could get a lot worse and  much more serious & they could all be classed as playing  the ‘sick role’.  Tamsela also has asthma which could get worse because of the damp conditions she is living in. Her mother is also depressed and is on medication which leaves Aziz to be the only non - sick member of the family. Aziz will need to take care of not only the children, but Tamsela’s father, mother & also Tamsela. A functionalist would review this situation and see that Aziz needs help and they all need to be cared for, they will deal with it as soon as possible so that they will recover quickly, get jobs and so that society is not affected by them.

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The Marxist approach towards health and illness closely analyses the health & social care classes. They suggest that patient’s interests are served based on where they are in social class hierarchy. People who are employers are expected to be healthy to ensure the company has a healthy and strong work force. This will be impossible without the doctors as they have the duty to assign people that they are fit enough to go back to work. In contrast, company employees may purchase things in which the company produce. For example: tobacco, alcohol or junk food. Whilst factories & firms are ...

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