Excerpt from the Harpertill blog -> “How does sociology help us understand health?” https://thisisnotasociology.blog/2015/02/02/how-does-sociology-help-us-to-understand-health/ .
“The first challenge for a student new to the sociology of health and illness is how to recognise a social structure and to understand how it impacts on our behaviour. There are two basic characteristics of a social structure which can help us to identify them.
Social structures are:
external to individuals, and
they exist independently of any particular individual but not of all people.
The second key sociological insight which is vital to gain a better understanding of why people have particular health outcomes is that of experiences, identities and meanings. This branch of sociology seeks to understand the subjective ways in which people experience and understand the world. This requires interpretive understanding or trying to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. For example, what is it like to have cancer or to be obese?
This is important because a health condition will always have an impact on how someone feels about themselves (or on how others feel about them) and therefore how they can manage it.”
Discuss the following (250 wds. min):
Provide an example of a “social structure” and how it impacts health outcome.
Explain the following comment from above: “This is important because a health condition will always have an impact on how someone feels about themselves (or on how others feel about them) and therefore how they can manage it.” (What does this mean to you?)

 

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