HSC210 Health Sociology

Question:

Students must write essays on the following topics:

Australia’s current health care system is marked by hierarchy and power.

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Use sociological theories to discuss this statement.

Discuss the implications of this statement on you as a medical professional.

Answer:

Introduction

Two concepts that greatly impact many areas in nearly all countries are hierarchy and power.

This discussion will focus on the Australian health system.

To help you understand the topic, we will talk about some key concepts in sociology. We will also discuss the biomedical model for health. Finally, we’ll discuss the two main concepts, hierarchy and power. This discussion will be followed by a discussion about the theories and definitions of these concepts.

Sociology Explained and The Role Of Perspectives

Sociology is not psychology. It is a methodical study on society and groups. The way an individual behaves depends on the society or group that he/she is part of.

It can include societal associations, community interface, and ethnicity.

This helps health professionals around the world to determine which health conditions are affecting individuals in different areas.

It also helps determine the right course of treatment.

The health of an individual is affected by many social factors such as race, gender, education, religion, and gender.

The relationship between health, illness and sociology is determined by the sociology of health.

Sociologists have proven that social class, race, and other community factors greatly impact the growth in diseases (Crossman 2017, Crossman).

Technology and economic advancements have led to changes in insurance that can significantly impact the amount of health care available.

There are many approaches to sociological analysis, which are often referred to as perspectives.

The functionalist model focuses on the need for a healthy society and effective health care. Talcott Parsons, Library, 2015, p.

It emphasizes the “sick role”.

It emphasizes the “sick role” and how a sick person affects society’s performance as a whole.

The functioning of society is also affected when there is insufficient health care.

Individuals should feel capable of healing and should not be considered as sick.

This perspective sees the doctor and the sick person as having a hierarchical relationship.

The perspective was criticised for many reasons.

Second, conflict theory highlights the difference between medical care services and health quality.

There were disparities in the society’s race, customs, and social groups.

People with sickly conditions are more likely to become sick. If they have poor medical services, their condition will only get worse.

It emphasizes the power of doctors to control their practice, and that they must consider other issues in society such as obesity as a health issue.

Additionally, the symbolic interactionist model highlights that health and sickness can be socially constructed.

It demonstrates that the society is able to clearly identify health conditions as either healthy or sick.

The interface between the ill and the medical practitioner is also highlighted. This allows the medical practitioner to demonstrate their curative understanding through the use of composite medicinal language that is hard for the average man to understand. Usually, they must wait for the practitioner to arrive.

As with other perspectives, it has been criticised as some severe medical issues continue to exist, regardless of whether or not they are considered so by the general populace.

There have been many models of illness and how to manage it.

The biomedical is the most well-known and governing model of 20th century health (Wade & Halligan 2004, 2004).

Biomechanical model, also called biomechanical model, is a method of evaluating health and explaining how diseases can occur.

It doesn’t consider health to be affected by any disease.

In assessing a specific disease, it does not consider the biological causes.

A sick person is a body that is sick. This is how the medical practitioners manage, examine, and administer treatment (Smith 2017, 2017).

Therefore, health practitioners with proper understanding have the obligation to treat the sick person in an environment that has suitable medical equipments.

This model has the greatest benefit that doctors have. The best chance of a cure for the patient is in a medically-equipped environment.

Health is not only the absence of diseases by the World Health Organization, but it also includes the state of being emotionally, physically and communally healthy.

This model is well-established in modern societies.

The model has its drawbacks.

It does not consider social factors such as standard-of-living and the financial system.

In today’s world, there are many other factors that can contribute to illness. These include hierarchy and power.

Heirarchy & Power – Discussion, Theories, and Evidence Related to Both Concepts

Hierarchy can be defined as the grouping of people according to their social, financial and professional status in society.

People are separated on the basis their race, religion and class. These factors have a significant impact on the quality of health care and the availability of services to them.

First, we’ll discuss the concept of social dominance. It was created by Sidanius in 1999.

The theory describes how societal hierarchies are created and how they impact certain groups.

According to this theory, subordinate and dominant groups exist and both are subject to inequality.

All developed economies have three kinds of hierarchy. These are based on gender, age and subjective reasons like race, religion, rank, belief, and faith.

These five key factors are the determinants of this theory.

To begin with, governing organizations have dominance over minor groups.

These groups also have a significant impact on their social background.

It is more prevalent among males than in females, and it is affected by socialization and traits.

Karl max’s theory about socialism (Heirarchystructure 2017) divides people into three categories: upper, middle, and lower class.

The Marxist Social Hierarchy, also known as the Marxist Social Hierarchy. This theory states that the highest wealth individuals own land and those who work in the upper classes are considered to be middle class.

The lowest income group was the one without property.

In terms of health and the provision of health care services, there have been differences among all these groups.

Weber defined power to be the ability of an individual or group of individuals to achieve their goals despite the opposition of other groups (Cook, 2013,).

Weber’s social power theory explains that power comes in two forms: one is by being authoritative, and the other is through force.

The lawful authority comes in three forms: charismatic authority which is the person who has the ability to appeal to others, traditional authority that is handed down on the grounds of inheritance, and lastly, regal-legal. This authority is given according to specific regulations and the individual is empowered through a process.

The power model that describes both opinionated and communal power is the third.

The pluralist model explains that power is distributed among multiple groups. However, there are two main groups, the insiders, who have more control, such as the farmer, practiced, and worker groups, and the outsiders, such as the grassroots activists or political action committees.

This model is particularly relevant to the functionalist perspective, which we discussed above. It also highlights the political aspects of power in society.

In elite models, wealth is linked to power in democratic countries like Australia.

C. Wright Mills power elite theory, which states that the government, military, and well-established business hold a dominant role in leading society in their own interests and disregards those of others is the most popular.

Marxist power theory explains that only few people can have all the power they need at any given time.

He argued that there are two classes, the ruling and working class. In capitalism, the former is subjugated to the former.

These theories, including hierarchy and power, prove that they have an impact on health and the health care system in every economy.

Australian Health Care System

Australia has many cultures.

There are many groups that have different cultural and language backgrounds.

As far as health and healthcare services go, there is a lot of inequity between different groups.

In Australia, the governing position is held by the medical profession.

Because of this dominance, many pastoral doctors are working privately and not being publicly available.

As per the Australian Health Care Agreement, (Kenny), 2014, there should be fairness in providing health services throughout Australia.

As discussed above, there are many political parties that hold the highest positions in Australia’s hierarchy. They have diverse views and enforce their powers in relation to medical services.

The relevant position of Australia’s Common Wealth, the government of each state or territory that is responsible for funding and ruling health care in Australia, isn’t always clear.

The Commonwealth is responsible to Medicare. Medicare is a nationalized plan that provides low cost, liberated health services.

The Commonwealth is responsible to provide major funding.

The Commonwealth is responsible for managing and regulating the services. However, there are other related activities that fall under their jurisdiction.

A significant portion of medical expenses is also covered by the private sector, which accounts for about a third of the total.

Importantly, non-profit organizations are also responsible for providing services for old people.

Furthermore, inequality continues to plague many groups in Australia, including the Indigenous community. This is due to power and hierarchy.

This community is suffering from poor health due to a lack of housing infrastructure, lack in employment, ignorance, and gender biasness.

It has been proven that rural residents are more susceptible to diseases than people who live in cities.

Inequality in access to healthcare services can also contribute to poor health.

The importance of hierarchy and power in Australian’s health care system is evident.

The health of an individual is greatly affected by his or her culture, geographic location, environment, and access to healthcare services.

As we have seen, authority and power is vested in a small number of groups and the highest management. In Australia’s healthcare system, all funding decisions and regulation are made by the political elite with their own interests at heart. The result is inequalities between the young and old, women and men, and other groups.

This is evident in Australia’s few female politicians.

Indigenous males are more likely to die and become ill than other men.

Young male suicides are quite common.

Due to hierarchy and power, young Australians often face domestic violence, ignorance and child paucity.

Further, we can discuss the role hierarchy and power play in relation to smoking and policy implementation in Australia.

Tobacco use has been the main cause of hospitalizations and deaths in Australia.

Tobacco smoking has been identified as the leading cause of poorer health and the cause of many persistent ailments among Indigenous people. This group accounts for about 12% of all total deaths and is responsible for around one-fifth of all deaths.

This data clearly shows that people of lower classes are more affected by tobacco use, and thus the most likely to suffer from related diseases.

Despite continuous efforts being made by the Australian government, which includes the federal, state, and territory governments, to reduce the use of tobacco, the development of National Tobacco Strategy, banning the smoking in enclosed public places, smoking bans in Victoria, and smoke-free dining laws in Victoria, and a communications campaign.

Yet, there is still inequalities in tobacco control efforts between different groups due to socioeconomic factors and cultural and political factors. For example, people who live in lower rural Victoria account for 17.5% while those who live in more urban areas account for 11.1%.

Despite efforts to reduce smoking, the rate of prisoners who smoke has increased over time.

However, current trends and efforts in taxation have had a positive impact on overall tobacco usage and should be followed to reduce disparities across different groups.

All-important Depth

The above discussion reveals that hierarchy and power play a key role in Australian’s health care system.

As we have seen, there are inequalities in Australia between various groups based on their race, culture and ethnicity.

Medical dominance is a common phenomenon.

As you can see, hierarchy and power are very detrimental to people’s health.

Diverse communities such as Indigenous, aged, males and women, mentally disabled, etc. suffer greatly from these two issues.

21 Sociological Perspectives On Health and Health Care.

(2014).

(2004).

Social Dominance Theory.

Marxist Social Heirarchy.

Weber’s definitions power.

(2014). Rural Perspective: Medical Dominance and Control.

Evidence review: Addressing the social and economic determinants of tobacco use.

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