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“Hierarchy and power are intrinsic to the current health care system in Australia”INTRODUCTIONHierarchy and power are two concepts which greatly affect various fields across almost all countries. In this particular discussion, we will take Australian health care system into consideration. Further, to have a clear understanding of the same, we will discuss few key concepts of sociology and its perspectives, biomedical model of health, discussion about our two key concepts namely hierarchy and power, there definition and theories related to same and at the end how they are inherent in Australia’s present health care system and how they are reasons of disparities amongst different communities across Australia and a concluding note at the end.EXPLANATION OF SOCIOLOGY AND THE ROLE OF PERSPECTIVESSociology, contrary to psychology which is a study of individuals conduct and intellect, is themethodical study of society and groups and how an individual’s conduct depends on which society and group he or she is associated with. It comprises of forms of societal associations, communal interface, and ethnicity. This study hugely helps health practitioners globally in determining the health conditions affecting people in different locations. Thereby, helps in the determination of the correct course of treatment. There are several social factors includingreligion, race, gender, education etc that majorly affects the health of an individual. The sociology of health and illness determines the relationship between health and these societal factors. It has been proved by sociologists that position of an individual in the society, racial belief and other communal factors considerably impact the growth of diseases (Crossman, 2017). There has been a constant advancement in technology and economy, changes in insurance, which largely affects the health care facility available to an individual.There are diverse approaches to sociological analysis which are commonly referred as perspectives. Firstly, the functionalist model perceives that for the society to perform proficiently, it is necessary to have good health and efficient health care as indicated by Talcott Parsons (Libraries, 2015). It emphasizes on the “sick role”. It further highlights that a
sick person disrupts the performance of society as a whole, as he is unable to execute his responsibility as a member of the society (Lumen,2014). Also, lack of proper health care worsens society’s functioning. Individuals to be regarded as sick should have the will to recover; their sickness should be well established by a medical practitioner and he should not be responsible for his own ill condition. This approach perceives hierarchical relationship between the sick person and medical practitioner. However, the said perspective was condemned on various grounds. Secondly, the conflict theory highlights the disparity between health quality and medical care services. There have been disparities in the society as far as race, customs, sex and social groups are concerned. Probability of individuals with pitiable conditions to fall sick is more and with poor medical services, it further worsens theircondition. It also accentuates evaluation of efforts by medical practitioner to have dominance over their practice and of considering numerous society issues such as over eating problem ashealth issue. Further, the symbolic interactionist model underlines both health and sickness are socially built. It highlights that health conditions are clearly explicated as sick or healthy by the society at large. The approach also focuses on the interface between ill people and medical practitioner clearing that the medical practitioner exhibit their power of curative understanding by using composite medicinal language which are difficult for the common men to understand and usually they have to wait for practitioner to turn up. However, like other perspectives, this approach has also been criticized as certain severe medical issues still subsists despite of whether it is considered so by the general public or not.BIOMEDICAL MODEL OF HEALTHThere have been several models of illness and health. However, biomedical model is the mostpopular and governing model of health of the 20th century (Wade & Halligan, 2004). Also referred as biomechanical model, the said model methodically evaluates health and explains that disease occur from causal aberration inside the individuals body. It considers health as without the presence of any disease. It exclusively highlights the biological causes in assessing a particular disease.In this model, an ill person is perceived as a body which is sick and is managed, investigated and medicated by the medical practitioners solely with their rationality and extrinsic evaluations (Smith, 2017). Hence, practitioners of health with proper understanding are obligated to cure the sick person in a background with existence of suitable
medicinal equipments. Doctors hold a dominant position in the said model and greatest probable cure for the patient in a medically equipped environment is the major benefit of this model. However, health is recognized as the condition of being bodily, emotionally and communally robust and not simply the dearth of disease by the World Health Organization. This particular model is well established in today’s modern communities. However, there are certain disadvantages of the said model. It does not take into consideration social aspects such as standard of living and the financial system as a whole. There are several other factors other than biological that are responsible for an illness in individuals such as hierarchy and power that majorly affects a person’s health in today’s world.HEIRARCHY AND POWER –DISCUSSION, THEORIES AND EVIDENCE RELATED TO BOTH CONCEPTSHierarchy is defined as the categorization of collection of individuals in accordance with theirfinancial, societal and professional position in the society. Individuals are divided on the basis of race, religion, class, ethnicity and many more factors which in turn have great impacton the health and services provided to individuals in these distinct categories. Firstly, we will discuss social dominance theory which was developed by Sidanius and Pratto in the year 1999. The theory describes the source of societal hierarchies and how these classifications boost certain groups and adversely affect people in particular groups (Moss, 2016). According to this theory, there are dominant and subordinate groups and there exists inequality in both these groups. There are three different arrangement of hierarchy in all developed economies on the basis of age, gender and subjective reasons such as ethnic group,race, rank, belief and faith. There are five key determinants of this theory. To start with, governing groups possess dominance over other minor groups. Also societal background greatly impacts these groups. It is more prevalent in males than females and is affected by traits of people and socialization happenings. We further discuss Karl max’s theory of socialism which classifies individuals in society into three groups namely upper, middle and lower class (Heirarchystructure, 2017). Normally known as the Marxist Social Hierarchy, the said theory explains that the wealthiest individuals owning land belongs to upper class, individuals who work for upper class and sells their talent in return of money comprises of middle class. Lastly, less earning group with no property comprised the lower class. There
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