Social Construction And Doctors And Patients


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interactionist perspective on health

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Social Construction And Doctors And Patients

  1. 1. Social Construction and Doctors and Patients Interactionist perspectives
  2. 2. Interactionism <ul><li>As we have discussed the Interactionist perspective is quite different from Marxism and functionalism </li></ul><ul><li>It is concerned with how people make sense and give meaning to things in their social world </li></ul><ul><li>Interactionism looks at how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us </li></ul><ul><li>It examines how our identity is shaped socially </li></ul>
  3. 3. Stigma – Erving Goffman 1963 <ul><li>Goffman believed that our identity is something social </li></ul><ul><li>We have to constantly present ourselves publicly and our ‘selves’ are continuously being scrutinised by ourselves and others </li></ul><ul><li>We try to project a socially desirable ‘front’ </li></ul><ul><li>We want to be accepted and liked so we must present a good image of ourselves to ‘fit in’ </li></ul><ul><li>We constantly ‘manage’ the impression others have of us </li></ul>
  4. 4. Stigma <ul><li>A stigma is something that can damage you socially </li></ul><ul><li>A stigma can be something that is physical (such as the girl born without a nose) </li></ul><ul><li>Or something about you which is not immediately obvious, such as; the fact that you have had a mental illness. </li></ul><ul><li>Goffman identifies the following types of stigma </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Abominations of the body </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Disability, deformity etc </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blemishes of character </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A criminal conviction, a slanderous slur, mental illness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tribal Stigmata </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Religion, race and ethnicity </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Stigma <ul><li>Societal Reaction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People react differently to people who present with some form of stigma </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>People may not speak to the person with the stigma </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The stigmatised are discredited or devalued </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They could suffer violence, social exclusion, less rights than other people </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They can be seen as less than human </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They can be held responsible for having the stigma (HIV/AIDS) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People with a stigma manage the information people have about their discrediting characteristic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wearing make up to cover a scar from a burn </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hiding the fact you have an illness (like AIDS & HIV) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Read the article on stigma and HIV/AIDS <ul><li>What is stigma often related to? </li></ul><ul><li>Who has been seen as blameless or innocent? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do people sometimes avoid healthcare professionals? </li></ul><ul><li>What percentage of people thought that people living with AIDS should be separated from mainstream society? </li></ul><ul><li>Write a short passage about the findings of the surveys listed in the article </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What evidence is there of social construction? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What evidence is there to support the claim that people living with HIV/AIDS are stigmatised? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What sort of societal reaction can people get if they are living with HIV/AIDS? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How might Goffman view the findings of the surveys? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Mortification of the Self <ul><li>In another key text ‘Asylums’ 1962 </li></ul><ul><li>Here Goffman examines the effects on the self when people are confined to an institution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prisons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mental hospitals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Here people have to undergo a change of identity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is a mortification of self </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They are no longer the people they were before they entered the institution, they are now something that is defined by that institution </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>An inmate </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their lives are characterised by a routine not of their making </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They are not in control of their lives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their lives are run in such a way as to minimise disruption to the institution </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Disabling Professions <ul><li>Ivan Illich (1976) </li></ul><ul><li>Very critical about how our lives have been over structured by modern society </li></ul><ul><li>He argues that the medical profession have taken over our lives </li></ul><ul><li>We have been ‘disabled’ by the medical profession </li></ul><ul><li>Iatrogenesis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Illness or disease caused by the medical profession </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clinical </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ill health through being in hospital (think MRSA) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Medical profession makes us morbidly obsess about our health when really there is nothing that can be done to ultimately prevent us from dying eventually </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Too many medical professionals holding too much power over individuals </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional ways of caring for people are lost </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Our ability to look after and care for ourselves is taken away by the medicalisation of life </li></ul><ul><li>We are unable to cope with the possibility of our own death </li></ul>