Sociological Perspective On Illness

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A Sociological Perspective of Chronic Illness Remaining in perfect health throughout a lifetime is nearly impossible, as a result it is quite common for many people to develop some type of chronic illness which they must learn to navigate within social environments as well as daily life. First of all, it is important to note the difference between the medical model of illness and the sociological model of illness. According to Weitlz, the medical model of illness is an objective scientific label based on biological abnormal behaviors or conditions, whereas the sociological model suggests illness is socially constructed by society to label behaviors that are considered deviant. While taking into account the sociological perspective, in social situations illness can be associated with negative stigma which might make it difficult for some to reveal their diagnosis publicly with others. Using interviews conducted on three people suffering from a chronic illness along with Weitlz book, this essay will present how illness is socially constructed within society and the effects it has on them, specifically focusing on the meaning of social illness, mental illness, as well as healthcare and drug marketing in the U.S. When discussing the meaning of social illness, sociologist often use deviance to describe, “Behaviors or conditions” that “Violate social norms” therefore when these behaviors are considered deviant the term illness is attributed to anything that challenges the norm.
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