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This assignment will evaluate the differences between sociological and biologicaldefinitions of Health and Illness by comparing the two and showing the strengthsand weaknesses. It will also evaluate the differential distribution of health chancesand related theories in relation to factors such as social class, ethnicity and gender.Health and illness can be defined by two areas; sociological and biological.Sociological defines it as a conceptual "framework which improvements in healthand wellbeing are achieved by directing effort towards addressing the socialeconomic and environmental determinants of health. The model is based on theunderstanding that in order for health gains to occur, social, economic andenvironmental determinants much be addressed." (Jkonoroth. 2013)Biological defines health and illness by focusing “on the physical or biologicalaspects of disease and illness. It is a medical model of care practiced by doctorsand/or health professional and is associated with the diagnosis cure and treatmentof disease." (Jkonoroth. 2013)The sociological model (SM) takes into account social class, gender, cultural andeconomic factors of an individual to have a better understanding of their health andillness. This model considers wider factors such as policies, education and health
and is dependent on the community to help prevent illness. For example, in recentdates - April 2015- there was a global epidemic of Zika virus. (Jkonoroth. 2013)The advantage of this model is that it educates people so they have a betterunderstanding of how they can prevent illness, unlike the BM were they provide acure but offer no knowledge to help the individual to prevent it in the future.(Jkonoroth. 2013)The sociological model aids in improving everyone's health by creating awarenessof global epidemics , thus beneficial for the Economy of each government/State byreducing financial aid that would be required for treatment and supportsindividuals to take responsibility to lead a healthier lifestyle, improving quality oflife. (Jkonoroth. 2013)The fall back of the SM is that it is too idealistic, too utopian and ignores the BM;this decreases personal responsibility by blaming others for their issues. Forexample, diet or lifestyle choices made by an individual should subsequently onlyaffect the person in hand and not the tax payers. Therefore financially unrealisticfor the government to fund or encourage choices made by individuals.The Biomedical model (BM) has two stages: firstly, diagnoses to help pinpointwhat illness or disease is affecting the individual. Secondly, intervention where
they try to find a cure for the illness by creating medication, treatment plan orhospitalisation. (Jkonoroth. 2013)The health services and specialist medical service look at the biological reason tohelp sick people by looking into medical reasons of their underlying health issue.For example if a patient goes to the doctor because they are feeling pins andneedles, the doctor will conclude that there might be something wrong with thenervous system and not go beyond that. Whereas the SM will ask questions to get abetter understanding of their environment/background information and then offerthem support. (Jkonoroth. 2013)The BM attempts to treat temporarily problems by giving medication and canadvise but not physically help as health services have limitations and can not giveadvise on wider factors such as environment. By not looking at the whole picture,which should include the SM, it doesn't get to the root of the cause which can helpeliminate issues. (Jkonoroth. 2013)In my opinion both models will benefit by working together to have a bettersuccess in achieving higher rates of health as they will look at genetics and theenvironment of each individual. This hypothetical data would be stored with yourlocal doctor, thus aids in better treatment.
To have a better understanding of the effects of health and illness, sociologicaltheories show us different perspective of how society and human social behaviourinfluence health. Functionalism, Marxism and Feminism all have different viewson how improving our social environment can have a direct effect on our health.The Feminist approach to health and illness is based on their belief thatdominations in the medical health sector is majority by men and that it is having animpact on women. They believe that rather then women's needs to be seen asnatural process such as pregnancy or childbirth, it is consider to be an illness ormedical problem. Another issue that has been shown is that women suffer fromdepression, stress and anxiety compared to men due to their natural processes suchas giving birth etc., (Roberts. 2013)The Black Report (1980) supports this as they provide evidence by showing thedifference in women and men and how long they live, what sort of health state theyare in etc. (Public Health Action Support Team (PHAST), 2011)This approach has successfully brought awareness to inequalities to women byexposing their roles at home or jobs that are widely available to them andproviding evidence to show their influences their health. However there aredisadvantages to this approach such as; they neglect to consider the men who also