Sociology and Healthcare Essay

1601 Words Nov 14th, 2010 7 Pages
Sociology and Healthcare

Health-care is a sociological institution within the American Culture. Health-care has many different aspects that pertain to patients, care givers and governmental approach to supply healthcare to all citizens. Sociology is the “scientific study of social behavior and human groups.” (Schaefer, 2009) Sociology plays a large role in how Americans look at our health-care systems and approach health and illness in one’s own life.

Health-care has many different definitions and can be interpreted differently by each culture and social class and even by the three different sociological perspectives. The main goal in health-care is the prevention, treatment and management of illness, to preserve mental and
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The conflict perspective differs from the interactionist perspective because it is not a problem for a single patient or provider but is a problem for the entire society. The Functionalist perspective to health-care is “being sick must therefore be controlled, so that not too many people are released from their societal responsibilities at any one time.” (Schaefer, 2009). In the functionalist perspective the patient and the health-care provider both assume specific roles. Such as the health-care provider assumes the role of a gate keeper to manage the illness and to help detour it from spreading. Where the patient assumes the role of the sick and takes on a new social role and behaviors temporarily of being sick. Majority of the time the patient who is sick is relieved of their normal social responsibilities. The goal of the sick patient is to quickly recover and to diminish the possible spreading of the disease. When the provider is treating the patient they must assess if the illness is an acute attack such as the common cold or virus or is it a chronic illness such as AIDS or cancer. Then they must provide a plan of action to help control or gate keep the illness. “This can make people with incurable conditions, including disabled people who are classified as sick, seem to be deviant” (Oliver, 1998). Since the functionalist perspective is based off of an equilibrium platform when one member of the team is not taking responsibility for their

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