Flashcards in Sociology Deck (25)
What are social norms?
Rules which govern behaviour
They are collective
They include positive sanctions to encourage behaviour & negative sanctions to prevent behaviour
They are so widespread they are often taken for granted & invisible
Once established they can be very difficult to change
Describe culture and normality
Culture = The way of life of a particular social group ( includes language, social norms, customs, values, beliefs, rituals, manners)
What is considered normal varies culturally and across time
Sociology of pain?
How people perceive and respond to pain, both in themselves and in others, is shaped by culture.
While culture is a framework that informs individual behaviour, not everyone conforms to cultural social norms. Rigid use of generalisations can lead to cultural stereotyping & serious inaccuracies
Consequences of unhealthy messages in med school?
Don't get ill, form of weakness, supposed to be perfect, contributes to sense of failure and reluctance to seek help
Creates impossible standards & expectations
Competitive nature of medical school and comparison with peers can lead to feelings of inadequacy / not being good enough
Pain and unpleasant bodily feelings can take up a lot of our attention > affect work and learning
Start to normalise unpleasant behaviours
Those from a medical background may be reluctant to go to the doctors because
Fear of diagnosis
Accepting and normalising
Feeling like they are wasting the doctor’s time
What is the inverse care law?
The inverse care law is the principle that the availability of good medical or social care tends to vary inversely with the need of the population served.
What is medicalisation?
The process whereby human conditions and problems come to be seen as medical conditions requiring medical intervention
What is social construction?
Something ‘invented’ or ‘constructed’ by people in a particular culture or society
Critical realism: physical material reality but mediated by social context
PMS as social construction?
Women experience something in relation to their cyclical changes but this ‘something’ is mediated by culture
Our bodies are grounded in the physical but immersed in a wider social, political and economic system which mediates our experience of the body
PMS/PMDD as a site of biological, social and cognitive interaction
Lung cancer barriers to help seeking
Patients had experienced a range of health changes indicative of LC but they did not tell their GPs about these despite making use of primary care services
Symptoms were normalised: framed as normal features of lifestyle and ageing (e.g. breathlessness=unfit, getting older, overactivity, seasonal change)
Absence of pain or lump
Belief that the symptoms will go away
No awareness of cancer symptoms or risk
Previous benign diagnosis for symptoms
3 key barriers to help seeking?
Fear of Embarrassment
- time-water or as neurotic, especially for those with diverse mild symptoms
- Fear that even the patient’s family think the symptoms are psychosomatic
- Men view help-seeking as unmasculine
- Embarrassment of sensitive or sexual area
Fear of Stigma
Fear of Cancer
- Serious and painful symptoms, fatal incurable disease
- previous experience of cancer
- fear of unpleasant Tx
- loss of sexuality after Tx
- Shame associated with dirt & uncleanness
What is the sick role?
Defining something as condition / disease entitles you to role
Rights: not blamed for condition, exempt from normal duties
Responsibilities: seek medical help, follow medical advise and get well ASAP
Doctors typically grant the sick role
What is a narrative construction?
Typically include stories about:
- What we have done
- Who we have been in the past
- Who we are now
- What we do now
- Who we will be in the future
These stories provide a sense of continuity, coherence + purpose to our lives
Narrative vs narrative construction?
Narrative: story or account of events and experiences
stories we tell about our lives or biographies in order to make sense of our lives + give them meaning. These stories try to answer questions about:
- Who am I?
- What is my life about?
- Shape our identities + give our life meaning
What is biographical disruption?
The ways in which people’s lives become profoundly disrupted by trauma, chronic illness or injury.
Not only is a person’s physical body disrupted, but also, the narrative constructions or stories that have made up their biographies or lives; their sense of self or identity.
Stages in biographical disruption?
1. Disruption to a person’s body and to practical, everyday activities
2. Disruption to a person’s narrative construction or biography: their sense of self, their past and future
What is narrative reconstruction?
Following an accident or illness, our stories or narrative constructions are disrupted or disorganised and we need to tell new stories or narrative reconstructions to bring coherence and meaning back to our lives.
These new stories try to make sense of the trauma/injury/illness by explaining why it happened, why it happened to them and by determining their responsibility.
People do this by referring to their past and their future.
People Ask Why it Happened to Them, Try and determine their responsibility, look to future to give their life meaning, look to the past to explain the cause, often explore or question spirituality or religion
Biographical disruption and narrative reconstruction are profoundly influenced by....?
Physical (type of injury or illness & severity)
Social (education, occupation, family, friends)
Cultural connotations associated with the trauma, injury/illness
Concepts of narrative construction, biographical disruption & narrative reconstruction can help doctors by...
Providing an understanding of the patient’s situation (meaning, context & perspective) that may not be addressed by other methods
Improving communication skills
Encouraging a consideration of a patient’s social, psychological & spiritual needs and appropriate support for these
Providing a framework for approaching a patient’s problems + uncovering diagnostic + therapeutic options
Working with patients to develop meaningful coping strategies, including the fostering of new stories
Working with patients to consider how their past & expectations for the future prior to the trauma/accident/illness informs their current situation
Encouraging empathy & promoting understanding between doctors and patients
Suggesting or precipitating different therapeutic options
What is stigma
An attribute that is deeply discrediting
Reduces the bearer from a whole and usual person to a tainted, discounted one (Status Loss)
Excludes individuals from full social participation (Social Rejection)
Types of stigma?
Felt stigma: shame associated with the stigma and fear of being socially excluded (internalised)
Enacted stigma: actual rejection and discrimination.
Stigma by Association: Family and friends experience stigmatisation because of their connection to the stigmatised person
Study has shown doctors hesitant to diagnose patients with conditions that have stigma attached to them
3 types of stigma?
Blemishes of individual character
Membership in certain social groups
4 components of stigma?
People identify and label human differences
These human differences are linked to negative attributes
Labeled individuals (“them”) are categorized as distinct from “us”
Labeled individuals experience status loss and discrimination
Why do people stigmatise?
Exploitation and domination/keeping people down
Enforcement of social norms/keeping people in
Avoidance of disease/keeping people away
How do people manage stigma?
Secrecy: concealing information that might reveal the stigmatising condition
Education: providing information to counter judgments
Withdrawal: avoiding potentially rejecting situations
Distancing: I’m not like them!
Deflecting: That’s not all of me! It’s only a small part of me
Challenging: efforts to change other people’s beliefs or behaviour