Health sociology

Overview of health

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Name Nikky Hart's 5 features of the biomedical mod

  • Disease is PHYSICAL
  • Doctors are ELITE
  • Medicine is a CURE
  • Illness is TEMPORARY
  • Treatment is SPECIAL
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Why are doctors seen as elite?

They have the ability and knowledge to treat and cure illnesses - saving lives

2 of 30

Which social class has the highest infant mortalit

The working class

3 of 30

Name the 4 possible explanations for health inequa

  • Cultural 
  • Social
  • Artefact
  • Structural
4 of 30

What is meant by inverse care law?

Those who need health care the most - receive the poorest kind.

5 of 30

Name 4 groups that are more likely to suffer menta

  • Married women
  • Afro-Carribean people
  • Working class
  • Women (in comparison to men)
6 of 30

What does Szasz think mental illness is?

A social construct that doesn't really exist

7 of 30

What is latrogenesis?

Illich believes it is when the medical elite cause illness rather than cure it

  • side effects.
8 of 30

Name 3 types of latrogenesis described by Illich?

  • Clinical - ineffective diagnosis
  • Social - medicalisation of social life
  • Cultural - destruction of people's ways of coping
9 of 30

What is the "march of progress"?

The elimination of disease because of the improvment of medicine.

e.g. small pox

10 of 30

What does Mckeown say about the "march of progress

Health has improved because of:

  • better public hygiene 
  • Better diets
  • Declining of family size
  • Housing legislation
11 of 30

The criticisms of the sick role?

  • Some people are to blame for their illness
  • Some people go to work ill
  • There are new alternative therapies
  • Gives too much power to doctors
12 of 30

Feminist views on health and illness?

  • Pregnancy is seen as a health problem treated in a hospital
  • Women tend to be nurses and men doctors - doctors get paid more.
  • Contraception is aimed at women
13 of 30

Marxist views on health and illness?

  • Ensure workers remain healthy 
    a healthy worker is a productive worker
  • Keep companies afloat
14 of 30

What does the "postcode lottery" mean?

When your residence determines the quality and availability of the NHS services.

15 of 30

How does social class affect health

  • Doctors set up practices in upper-class areas 
  • Middle class patients are given more time
  • Middle class people know how to interact with doctors easier
  • Middle class have more flexible jobs and transport
16 of 30

Why are women more likely to go to a doctor than m

  • Women are socialized to be expressive of their emotions
  • Women are more in tune with health issues (magazines)
  • Women have more convenient working hours
  • Women are more stereo-typically vulnerable  
17 of 30

How does ethnicity affect health care?

  • Ethnic minorities use NHS less often
  • Poorer language skills
    lack of translation
  • religion
    women not willing to be treated by men doctors
  • Socio-economic background 
18 of 30

How does the patient's age affect health care serv

  • Women over the age of 65 are not invited to breast screening
    over 3/4 of deaths by breast cancer are of this age group
  • 1/5 of heart units operate on age policy
  • Clinical trials mainly exclude the elderly.  
19 of 30

What is spurious interaction?

Not listening to someone because you do not agree with what they are saying

20 of 30

How do rates of mental illness vary?

  • Gender - women are more likely to be diagnosed with mental illness - more so depression and men schizophrenia.
  • Ethnicity - Afro-Caribbeans are more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia.
  • Social class - poorer people are more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness.
  • Age - the elderly are more likely to accept a mental illness and so accept and live by the label. 
21 of 30

What did the "Black Report" find?

Found there was a clear health gap between working and middle classes. 

22 of 30

What is the artefact approach suggested in the Bla

  • Underclass are of worse health than upper class 
  • There are less underclass so the difference isn't that clear
23 of 30

What are the theories of natural selection suggest

Health influences social class
- unable to maintain a job 

24 of 30

What is the behavioral explanation suggested in th

Working class lead a different lifestyle to the middle-class

  • diet
  • exercise
  • smoking
  • stress
25 of 30

What are the materialistic factors of the Black Re

Blames society for low income, poor housing and poor working conditions.

26 of 30

Why do women suffer more illnesses than men?

  • Women have the triple shift
  • Women are subjected to poverty more - single mother.
27 of 30

Why do women live longer than men?

  • Seek medical help more
  • Drink and smoke less
  • Less dangerous jobs
  • Men take more risks 
28 of 30

4 reasons for ethnic minorities suffering from mor

  • Biological 
    high blood pressure
    sickle cell anemia
  • Cultural
    Use of different cooking oils and eating habits
  • Materialistic
    socio-economic factors - living conditions
  • Racism during diagnosis 
29 of 30

What is Parsons' sick role?

A form of social control, by there being rights and obligations that a sick person is expected to get. 

30 of 30



Thank you so much, i can barley find anything on here on health aqa unit 2! Have you done the exam? Do you mind me asking what you got? And do you think these notes can help towards getting an A?

thanks again x


for some reason i cant print it in PDF? do you know why? Can you send me a link to maybe a word doc?


This is a great resource which will be excellent to test knowledge and understanding of key aspects of health. Excellent.

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