Different sociological approaches to health and ill health…


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Functionalist approach...

Parsons- using the traditional functionalist approach, he described how, for society to function efficiently, its members need to be healthy.

In parsons view, if people declared themselves as ill, specific rights and responsibilities came with their new role. An example of this can include, to be cared for. Social roles became a very powerful concept in the sociology of illness. Ill members performed a sick role. Parsons - one of the key functions of the family to care for the sick and other dependant members of the family.

Illness = social consequences- ill are off work and need to be cared for. Person get better so society will run smoothly.

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Rights and responsibilities associated with the si

 For example, school, work or college etc. Also from meeting normal family obligations.

Getting back to normal as soon as possible and meeting social obligations when better. co-operate with medical professionals such as doctors and their staff which will help you to get better quicker than normally.

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Marxist approach...

  •  A doctors job is to provide the company owner with a healthy workforce.
  • The government allows companies to make profits to make profits from products that cause ill health, such as tobacco and junk food. Firms and factories continue to produce toxic waste and large cars pollute the atmosphere.
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Interactionalist approach...

 People with the same ‘compliant’ vary as to weather they class themselves as ill and certainly vary as to weather they will seek professional help.

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Feminist approach...

  •  Feminists have been concerned about the way in which pregnancy and childbirth have been regarded as medical issues, rather than as natural processes.
  • Issues of mental health, anxiety and depression, and the fact that relatively higher numbers of women suffer from these conditions, feminists would see this partly as a result of their exploited position in society and especially in the family.
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 Functionalists- Functionalists believe that  all members  should be healthy at all times in order for society to run smoothly . In this scenario this is not the case as the children are suffering with permanent colds. Functionalists would disagree with this. If everyone was playing the sick ‘role’, then nothing would get done around the house and the children would not be cared for and could develop more illnesses s they are not being cared for properly.

Marxists-  Marxists would say the government will help people in order for people to work in order to produce money for the capitalists to stay  in the dominant position.

Interactionist's- Internationalists would say this family is saying they are ill, within conversations; when actually they aren't but this is what they have been telling each other so now they think they are when they could control it and are not really ill.

Feminists-  Feminists  would say that both of the parents should be out working, especially the male as they feel that society is male dominated.  If Tamsela was expected to go out to work she would have to work a full day, then come home and care for her children which would cause stress levels to rise and more illness will occur as illness comes with high stress levels.



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