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Sociological Perspectives And Models Of Health

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The principal sociological perspectives

Functionalism: The functionalism approach is known as one of the central theories. Functionalists view society like a body as they believe that all body parts work together for a social cohesion to occur in society. The reason why social cohesion happens because it is dominant for society to function without any inequalities. One strength of the functionalist approach is that they believe that democracy is important. Another strength of the functionalist approach is that society should have the same norms and values for everyone. However, the weakness of this approach is that sociologists lack knowledge that there are different ethnic backgrounds in society and how they should function. (Study Moose, 2014-2019)

Marxism: This sociological approach agrees that the definition of health and illness supplied must help with what the rich and powerful classes are interested in. They must help the rich classes as they believe that doctors are agents that work to meet the interests of others and give it to them in a safe environment. The strength of the marxist approach is that society is benefited by viewing it as a whole. Another strength of the marxist approach is that it helps to protect the rights of society because everyone has the right to stand up for their own beliefs. However, the weakness of this approach is that it affects the education system because children could be neglected as educational agencies don’t have the right to stand up for themselves. (Flow Psychology, 2014)

Feminism: The feminist approach believes that this approach is a conflict theory because it observes gender relating to power. (Academic Room, 2013) Feminists believe that society is dominated by men which had been challenged by Pamela Abbott and Claire Wallace. They focus on how men influence society and how they view women in a negative way. The strength of this approach is that women must have the right to have equality and stand up for what they think is right. (News Activist) However, the weakness of this approach is that women have experienced sexual harassment from the opposite gender.

Interactionism: The interactionist approach is known as the most theoretical approach which has the most attention to any issues related to health and illness. They contrast with the structuralist perspectives which doesn’t focus on large institutions and how they work with each other. The strength of this approach is that they believe that society is variable and changing. Another strength is that they believe that learning must take place in society. However, the weakness is that they lack information on what causes ill health. Another weakness could be is that it focuses on logical behaviour. (WordPress, 2011)

Collectivism: The collectivism approach provides health and social care services to be supported the government to support the poor people or people who are living on benefits, which is funded through taxes and the National insurance. They believe that there are poor people including those with disabilities and mental health issues. The strength of collectivism is that they view society in a positive way as it provides equal rights of everyone by promoting equality. Another strength of collectivism is that there are social programs to help the less fortunate to improve their life through education or health care services. However, the weakness is that people lack motivation to go to work. (eNotes, 2019)

New Right: The new right is known as the post war collectivist approach in which the welfare remained for a long period of time. This approach believes that it was not taken seriously as no one knew about it until Margaret Thatcher’s election of the conservative government in 1979. The new right also agrees that the welfare have responsibility of other individuals and their families. The strength of the new right is that it views the nuclear family into having positive aspects. However, the weakness of the new right is that they are negatively influenced the government which makes benefits more difficult to get. (Quizlet, 2019)

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Postmodernism: The post modernism approach focuses on the changes and the problems in our society. Postmodernists believe that society lacks information on personal things such as family or religion as everything is different and nothing is the same. Postmodernists agree with how people make their own decisions in society such as buying goods that are needed for everyday use. The strength of the postmodernism approach is that they believe that everything is related to time and place. (Slide share, 2019) The weakness of this approach is that it ignores the success of modernism before postmodernism was existed. (Quora, 2019)

Sociological approaches to health and ill health

Functionalism: Functionalists view society like a body as all body parts must work together for a social cohesion to occur in society. Functionalists view health and ill health from Talcott Parsons’ theory. He has a theory of the sick role that is known as having certain rights to people who are ill. According to this, Parsons believes that those who are sick have the right to recover by having a few days of school, college or work and then come back to society when fully recovered. Another right of the sick role is visiting doctors so they help you get better.

Marxism: This sociological approach agrees that the definition of health and illness supplied must help with what the rich and powerful classes are interested in. Marxists believe that the economic system is viewed into two classes. Marxists view health and ill health through the control over health institutions and the stratification of health providers. They must help the rich classes as they believe that doctors are agents that work to meet the interests of others and give it to them in a safe environment. Their responsibility is to make sure that people should go back to work as soon as they recover.

Feminism: The feminist approach believes that this is a conflict theory because it observes gender relating to power. Feminists view health and ill health as a medical problem as they believe that medicine is a solution. They believe that the medical system is controlled by men as feminists think that men are getting better healthcare than women and children. (Answers) Feminists also view health as women do more roles which is the reason why women get ill more often. According to mental health issues, feminists believe that women suffer from conditions such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.

Interactionism: This sociological approach is known as the most theoretical approach which gave the most attention to any issues related with health and illness. Interactionists view health negatively because people with serious illnesses don’t claim themselves as ill but people who classifies themselves as ill are not really ill as they don’t really talk about how ill they are. Another reason why they view health and ill health negatively because they lack knowledge about structures and institutions but have good knowledge about other people such as their friends and families.

The biomedical and socio medical models of health

Biomedical model of health: This is a science based approach which talks about health and illness. It identifies health as the ‘absence of disease’ and focuses on diagnosing and curing individuals with specific diseases. Health professionals will use scientifically tested methods to address diagnosed illnesses such as x-rays, genetics, surgery, blood tests, vaccination, physical aspects and hospitalisation. The strength of this perspective is that it fits well with the functionalist perspective. However, the weakness of this approach is that less attention is paid to the wider environment and social factors could lead to ill health.

Socio-medical model of health: This is a social based approach which focuses on the social and environmental factors that influence our health and wellbeing. They believe that the environmental and social conditions are more likely to disease but not located in people. The strength of this perspective is that it agrees with the conflict theories such as marxism and feminism rather than the functionalist theory. However, the weaknesses of this perspective is that they don’t look at the biological causes of illness and disease. Another weakness is that the model doesn’t have a method to identify or classify illnesses. Another weakness could be that it is unable to respond to emergency situations.

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Sociological Perspectives And Models Of Health. (2021, September 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved August 14, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/sociological-perspectives-and-models-of-health/
“Sociological Perspectives And Models Of Health.” Edubirdie, 16 Sept. 2021, edubirdie.com/examples/sociological-perspectives-and-models-of-health/
Sociological Perspectives And Models Of Health. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/sociological-perspectives-and-models-of-health/> [Accessed 14 Aug. 2022].
Sociological Perspectives And Models Of Health [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 16 [cited 2022 Aug 14]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/sociological-perspectives-and-models-of-health/
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