Solved by verified expert:Answer one of the following questions. Your answer should be at least three paragraphs (500 words) in length and should be presented in your own words. Any use of quoted material must be properly cited.1. How does licensing within the medical profession relate to the status of doctors? How does the AMA contribute to the power of doctors?2. What is the second shift, and how does it relate to a leisure gap between husbands and wives?Reference textbook: You May Ask Yourself An Introduction to Thinking like a Sociologist 5th Edition
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Week 10 Lecture
Health & Society
• What causes people to die
changes over time, but the
group at greatest risk of
dying from these
afflictions, people who are
low in socioeconomic
status, stays the same.
• Doctors have a great amount of social
power, political power, and prestige, for a
variety of reasons.
– They offer a universally valued product: health and
– There is a limited number of doctors due to the extensive
education and training as well as the strict regulation of the
Medical Profession Continued
• Doctors are concerned about their standing
among their peers.
– People trust doctors with very personal information.
– People expect individualized treatment.
– Doctors use specific props and scripts to assert their
Sick? What Does It Mean?
• Talcott Parsons
– Developed the concept of the sick role, which
assigns a sick person rights and obligations
– Very individualistic concept, which does not
take into account how social conditions can
affect a person’s health
Sick? What Does It Mean? (cont)
• Like many other seemingly
universal or stable concepts,
illness is a social construct.
• What it means to be sick (or
healthy) has changed
throughout history and also
differs from one place to
US Health Care
• Is health care a right or a privilege?
• Unlike many other industrialized nations, the
United States does not offer universal health care.
• Four main types of health care in the United
Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)
US Health Care (cont)
• Technological advances in medicine have now
allow us to
– Detect diseases via genetic anomalies in the
fetus, which raises difficult ethical questions
and has major social implications
– Have multiple births (often due to assisted
reproductive technology) and also successful
premature births, which present further medical
and ethical dilemmas
Health Care Discrepancies (1)
• There are numerous health
care discrepancies between
races in the United States,
with whites having the best
• The starkest differences can
be found between whites
Health Care Discrepancies (2)
• While some of the discrepancies are due to differences in
socioeconomic status, there are still significant differences
between whites and blacks with the same income and
education level, which implies that racism plays a role in
people’s overall health.
Health Care Discrepancies (3)
• Three main theories that attempt to explain
why people with higher socioeconomic
status have better health
– Selection theory
– Drift explanation
– Social determinants theory
Health Care Discrepancies (4)
• Selection theory—the connection between low
income and poorer health—has mediating factors.
– For instance, other factors, like genetics, might
affect both socioeconomic status and health.
Health Care Discrepancies (5)
• The drift explanation states that there is a
connection between income and health.
– If you have poor health, you may be less
likely to find gainful employment
Health Care Discrepancies (6)
• Social determinants
theory states that
social status can
determine a person’s
Health Care Discrepancies (7)
Married people tend to live longer.
– It is not clear whether marriage benefits a
person’s health or if healthier people tend to
• Women live longer than men.
– This can be attributed to the types of illnesses
each sex is more susceptible to as well as to
how willing each sex is to seek medical care.
Health Care Discrepancies (8)
Children living in large families and those born
close together experience higher child mortality
rates, due to greater demands on parents’ financial
and emotional resources.
• The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
mental Disorders (DSM) provides a standard
categorization of mental disorders and their
– Changes in this manual, particularly from its
second to third editions, have strongly
influenced how mental illness is understood
Mental Health (2)
• There has been a significant increase in the use of
pharmaceuticals to treat mental illness.
• Some negative aspects of this change
Devaluation of the benefits of talk therapy
Overprescribing or misprescribing of pharmaceuticals
Stigma attached to taking medication for mental illness
Increasing power of pharmaceutical companies, which
have benefited from the growth of the diagnostic
• Health disparities between groups within the United
States are dwarfed by the disparities that exist
between the United States and developing countries.
• Many developing countries are still struggling to
provide their citizens with safe drinking water,
sanitation, and basic health care.
• We like to think of
the family as a
haven in a harsh
world, but in fact,
inequality begins at
• Choosing a romantic partner doesn’t depend solely on
attraction, how well we get along, or shared life goals.
• Whether we realize it or not, there are also legal and cultural
factors that affect our choice.
• A nuclear family or traditional family is a family consisting of
a father and mother and their biological children.
• Extended family refers to familial networks that extend beyond
the nuclear family and may extend beyond the home.
Changes in Family
• There is no real “typical” family in Western society
– Multiple generations can live together.
– Families can consist of stepsiblings and halfsiblings; there are many single-parent families.
– Individuals and couples can choose not to get
married or not to have children.
Family Diversity (1)
• Endogamy refers to marriage to someone within
one’s social group (race, ethnicity, class, education,
religion, region, or nationality).
• Exogamy refers to marriage to someone from a
different social group
Family Diversity (2)
• Loving v. Virginia is
the 1967 Supreme
Court case that ended
laws (laws that said
couples could not
Family Diversity (3)
• Monogamy is the practice of marrying (or being in a
relationship with) one person at a time.
• Polygamy is a system of marriage that allows people to have
more than one spouse at a time.
• The more common form of polygamy is polygyny, a system of
marriage that allows men to have multiple wives.
• Polyandry, a system of marriage that allows women to have
multiple husbands, is a more rare form of polygamy.
Family Diversity (4)
• About 8 percent of all households are occupied by
couples who are cohabitating (living together as a
romantically involved, unmarried couple).
Families – Historically Speaking (1)
• Preindustrial families, such as these settlers, operated
like a small business.
• The home was a site for work and production, and the
entire family was involved.
• Early modern families depended heavily on kinship
networks, which are systems of relationships between
people related by blood and marriage.
• These networks weakened as families became more
Families Historically (2)
• The Industrial Revolution created a division between
work and home.
– Men were associated with the public world of
– Women were relegated to the private world of
managing a household and raising children,
work for which they were not paid.
Families Historically (3)
• The traditional nuclear family is not a timeless and
universal concept. It developed in response to
conditions in a specific time and place: the post–
World War II economic boom in the United States.
• Several factors that have brought about significant
changes in the organization of work and family life
since the 1970s.
– Increasing divorce rates
– Decreasing marriage and fertility rates
– Increasing participation of women in the
Family – Feminist View
• Feminist theorists suggest gender roles are learned in
the family. The family can be a battleground for
power over decisions about chores, housing, raising
children, spending money, and so on.
• Women today have two jobs: paid labor outside the
home and unpaid labor inside the home.
• Second shift refers to unpaid labor inside the home
that is often expected of women after they get home
from working at paid labor outside the home.
American Families & Inequality (1)
• African American women have often taken a leading
role in providing for their families.
• African American communities tend to have
expanded notions of kinship, including even
American Families & Inequality (2)
• Latinos come from many different countries and
cultural backgrounds, but some characteristics can be
identified as common
– Strong family and community ties
– Adherence to traditional gender roles
– Devout Catholicism
– High marriage rates
– Low divorce rates
American Families & Inequality (3)
• Single, nonworking mothers face many challenges,
among them the attitude of critics of welfare, who
think that they prefer being on welfare to working.
• Most women would prefer not to be on welfare, but
the nature of the system means that often they end up
with less income and fewer benefits when they move
from welfare to work.
Inequality Starts At Home
• The size of a family and its resources can affect how
parents relate to each of their children and can create
inequalities among siblings.
• Birth order and “natural” abilities also play a role, but
the bottom line is that in the home, a status hierarchy
often fosters inequality.
There Goes The Nation
• Divorce is a constant in our society, and debates will continue
about its effects on children.
• The only certainty may be that high levels of parental
conflict—whether between married parents or divorced
parents—are harmful to children.
• Families today come in many forms (blended families with
stepsiblings or half-siblings, families with same-sex parents,
interracial families, and intergenerational families.
• Perhaps the optimal description of the “ideal” family is that it
best serves the needs of all its members.
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