Health And Illness Are Terms That Are Commonly Interlinked,

1264 WordsFeb 27, 20176 Pages
Health and illness are terms that are commonly interlinked, and offer a topic of discussion that involves different definitions and viewpoints. For example, health can refer to physical wellness or mental stability. On the other hand, it can be used in non-medical terms, including referring to the health of a country’s economy, or the health of the education system (Kirby, 1997). Due to the varying uses and complexity of the two words, multiple definitions have been established and criticized throughout the years, while multiple sociological perspectives attempted to create a model that accurately explains the concept of health and illness, such as Marxism and functionalism. The World Health Organization (1948) defined health as "a…show more content…
Despite the similar definitions for both health and illness, sociologists question the nature of their concepts and emphasize that they are socially and culturally varied (Lawson and Garrod, 2000). One of the most prevalent sociological perspectives, the Marxist theory, emerged from the work of Karl Marx, a classical sociologist whose impact was mainly in the areas of industrial sociology and class analysis (Lawson and Garrod, 2000). This sociological perspective suggests that money and material possessions are the main factors that determine the quality of service an individual will receive, and further explains that health and illness are heavily influenced by the capitalist economic system (Crinson, 2007). In addition to this, it also suggests that socioeconomic backgrounds are responsible for creating the issues that require healthcare (Barkan, 2012). For example, consuming processed food with chemical additives serves as a side effect of a low income due to its cheap, mass-produced nature, and is considered to be a big detriment to health (Crinson, 2007). This, in conjunction with the inadequate health care that disadvantaged people are offered, means that they will experience sickness more often and receive inadequate help again, thus continuing the vicious cycle (Barkan, 2012). In addition to social class, race, ethnicity, sexuality and

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