What is Social Construction of Illness and Health?
Social construction of illness and health is the main systematising subject in medical sociology. The social construction of illness and health explores how various social forces are responsible for modelling our understanding of and actions towards illness, health and healing. For instance, some illnesses are predominantly implanted with cultural meaning that is not drawn from the actual nature of the illness itself. These meanings are developed from society’s response to those who are afflicted and thus is able to affect the manner in with the illness is experienced.
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What are the main social forces and factors that form Social Construction of Illness and Health? What do they influence?
There could be wide ranging social factors that form Social Construction of Illness and Health such as class, race, gender, language, technology, culture, political economy, as well as institutional and professional structures. These factors impact on people’s knowledge and understanding about the pervasiveness, occurrence, treatment and implication of disease. Also there is a view that all illnesses are socially constructed at the empirical level, and people comprehend and live with the illness according to this construction.
What are the debates involving Social Construction of Illness and Health?
The main debates regarding social construction of illness and health are about the medical perspective and knowledge of illness. Many critics have come to the fore in putting forward their arguments that the medical understanding of illness and health is not derived directly from nature but constructed and developed by by parties who have an interest in this affair and other claims-makers.
What is the importance of Social Construction of Illness and Health?
Social Construction of Illness and Health is offers a vital contrasting viewpoint to the fundamentally deterministic approach of medicine to illness and health. Because of this, policy planning and decision making would have a broader canvas to work with. It must be admitted that social institutions and structures have a widespread and persistent power and people are influenced a lot by the socially constructed ideas of ‘norms’ and ‘normal’ with regard to health factors.
My making using of the social constructionist perspective, medical sociologists are able to relate and understand health and illness in many different ways. For instance, at the basic individual level in creating self-awareness, individual action and interactive communication; in the spheres of hospitals and medical education; and also at the national level: the country’s standing in health aspects, health care systems and their political economy and the national health policies.
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