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Sociological perspectives

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In this assignment the writer will understand and acknowledge the sociological perspectives and the approaches of sociology in the health and social care sector. The essayist will also consider the concepts of sociology within health and social care while exploring the dimensions of health and illness. Sociology is the study of how the society is organised and how individuals experience life, it is also based on global issues that may affect the living beings. Sociology helps understand the structure and the dynamics of society and the connections between human behaviour and individual life changes. It examines ways in which the forms of social structure, groups, organisations, communities and other various social interactions with how they affect attitudes, actions and opportunities. Below is the terminology of terms that are related to the health and social care sector and are in relation to the perspectives for sociology. Social structure is the orderly organisation of the social and statues in the society. It is also the degree of regularity in the form of how people act towards each other in the given group. The family is a group that helps form, establish or regularise the sexual or procreative function. The primary group is made up of two parents and at least one dependent child whereas they bound by a feeling of a family structure. Education system is the term used to embrace formal, informal, non-formal learning Health care services are professional services that are delivered by health care professionals (doctors, nurses, carers, therapists, counsellors).

These services may include assessments of health need, planning and coordination of care services, health monitoring, medical administration or supervision and delivery of personal care. Locality is a place, spot or district with or without its own reference to objects or people in it or to occurrences there. Social class is the position in the society or group which might be seen as status Gender is the cultural term which reflects to the social attributes associated with one being male or female. Ethnicity is the sense of culture or nationality where one belongs. Age is used to specify the time that a person or objects has existed since birth or beginning. Socialisation is the term used to describe the process of learning how to behave in society. There are two types of socialisation which are primary and secondary socialisation. Primary socialisation is thesocialisation of children which occurs in the family, secondary socialisation is socialisation that takes place beyond the family. Values are constituent facts of the social structure. There are ideas of experiences whether they are important and they guide a person’s judgement and behaviour. Culture is based on the values, beliefs, language, rituals, customs and rules that may be connected with a particular social group or society. Norms are guidelines or rules that may administer how people or groups in society behave and act. Beliefs are assumptions and convictions that may be held to be true by an individual or groups of people relating to their concepts, events, people and things.

In sociology there are six main principal perspectives which are Functionalism, Marxism, Feminism, Interactionism, Postmodernism, Collectivism and New Right. Functionalism

In 1951, Talcott Parsons introduced the Functionalist view which studies the social structure as a whole of how it functions and how each social structure is crucial in the interests of society. Functionalism believes that humans and the society have some basic needs, institutions and governments may be responsible to meet the required needs also the functionalist may consider that they are different kinds of sources that may limit the individual’s behaviour within the chosen society, meaning that the society will behave appropriately based on one’s behaviour while having the same values, on the other hand the functionalist view does recognise that there may be errors or inequalities within the society but bearing in mind this can be functional for the society. However there have been criticisms against functionalism as some may believe that it is not a realistic way of living and not considering one’s own choices also functionalism may seem to ignore conflict and diversity within individuals in the society. Parsons sees inequalities as a well function to society as it helps in the running of society or community. The main key idea of functionalism is to ensure smooth running of the society and this is done through the structures of households and family. The weakness of functionalism does not clearly address the conflicts that may arise in the society and does not allow for the individual’s free will this is because the individuals are socialised into their own social roles. Parsons (1951) has created an image for functionalism as a way of positive living and having a function in society. Marxism

Marxism was introduced and studied by Karl Marx during 1818 and 1883. The Marxist view is based on the conflicts and interests of the society, it also strongly emphasises on the importance of conflict in societies and communities. They also believe that economics are the bases of progressing and social life this can be achieved by struggling through social classes, the change of social class is caused by the class of struggle. The two classes that Marx discussed about were the Bourgeoisie and Proletariat. The Bourgeoisie class is a small powerful group who may have owned factories or own companies whereas the Proletariat is a poorer group of workers. The way a Marxists thinks is based on the financial structures and systems as well as social class meaning that these factors are vital in the Marxist view. However there are several positives and benefits that may link to the main social institutions which highlight the importance of economics within society. Most theorists believe that this philosophy enlightens individuals to some freedom which emphasis on conflict. However the Marxism theory may not be realistic as not every society is based on conflicts. There are some criticisms that the Marxist view believes in for example that they may state saying a person’sbehaviour reflects and effects on the socialisation progress also some writers suggest that the Marxist model may focus more on the economy as the institution that as it is the focal point of the society but not emphasising to other institutions as religion, family, culture and race which moulds the behaviourof the individual. Feminism

Feminism is based on the social experiences from a women’s point of view. In basic terms feminism looks at society fro, a viewpoint of males however making females visible within the society. Feminism has two main bases of roles which are, redressing the balance and study society from a female point of view and to explore women’s lives which often neglected by sociological studies. Pamela Abbott and Claire Wallace (1997) studied the feminism perspective including the concerns and criticisms of malestream sociology. They suggested and argued that the male dominance has produced prejudiced descriptions and analysis meaning people do not focus on the issues that affect women. There are different categories of feminism which study specific aspects of women in the society this includes Liberal feminism, Radical feminism and Marxist feminism. Liberal Feminism

Liberal feminism looks at the view of legal restrictions of women in the society. Some female members of the liberal feminism believe that changing attitudes and legislations there will be more equality and diversity in society. Liberal feminists consider that if they are improvements this will be resulted in the acts of legislations and policies. Radical Feminism

Radical feminism is a theory that focuses on the oppressive nature of patriarchy. Btec National Health and Social Care book (2007) defines Patriarchy as a form of society in which men may be seen as being in authority, as power is passed from father to son. Radical feminism concentrates on thesocialisation of women as housewives and mothers in the form of oppression while using the characteristic of the nuclear family life. Marxist Feminism

The Marxist sees feminism as a result of class inequality meaning females are oppressed by both Capitalism and men including the Patriarchal community. Marxist believe that women may produce the next generation of the working trade, also the Marxist feminise believe that females might the required needs for children physically, emotionally and socially meaning that they are ready to work away from home in the future. Marxist feminise says that the mother in the family is the head because without the mother the family will not be able to function and they won’t be someone responsible for the domestic life meaning that this is the primary responsibility of women. Interactionism

Interactionism is the key concept to understand the society by analysing the behaviours and actions of individuals in a small social group. Interactionism may debate that thoughts and actions may develop based on the types of interactions between the parties involved. Interactionism emphasis and believes that labelling is a method used in many occasions by those in authority also through using the process of labelling stereotypes are developed. Interactionism states that individuals are not just passive however the individual has a particular role within the society on the other hand, fails to understand the reason why some groups in society have the power to label and place constraints on other individuals. Though Interactionism views the individual as having one’s own choice and accepts of the social roles in society this has several criticisms that may not be clearly defined. The theory does not study the root and development for social roles of how they arise. Interactionism is criticised on the insufficient interest on the issues of the power in society. In addition the theory may describe the relationships between health professionals and patients in a health care setting but does not highlight the social factors or the historical factors that may have influenced and caused this specific situation. New right

New right was a theory that was formed and took place in the 1980s and 1990s which was powerful in shaping the social and economic polices. The New Right has had debates and discussions that the rising costs towards government of the welfare state were preventing economic growth and that the society become more independent on the state. Some may believe that traditional roles within the society may have been undermined by the permissive values during the 1960s and 1970s. The New Right states that a nuclear family is vital to the society and that their is a concern for the rise in numbers of same sex couples and single parents which may be viewed as a negative factor for the society. The New Right also argues that welfare state develops a dependency syndrome among the society and that individuals should take responsibility for themselves and others if possible. The study introduced the market principles into the society, particularly in areas of public life. Theory considers that the free market (state benefits) produces wealth and freedom taking into consideration that traditional values (family, education and nationalism) are being threatened. The New Right has especially been criticised for destroying the community and society due to its emphasis on market principles. Post-modernism

Post-modernism focuses and stresses the uncertain natures of societies. Modernism is viewed to be a time when study of the world was based on scientific and traditional matters. Post-modernism argues that the range of sociological perspectives may have been superseded due to the nature of society changing in modern advanced industrial societies it also studies the theories as having a part and having interesting views about society. Post-modernism argues that class identity is no longer a vital role in society as it was back in the day but states that they is a large number of factors that may influence people’s lives such as gender, age and ethnicity. Post-modernism suggests that the establishments of the family, religion or the economy are no longer valued as things change in generations meaning that the structuralism perspectives such as Functionalism and Marxism are no longer vital in understanding the society as individuals and groups make their own lifestyle decisions also media is considered as an influential method in society as media creates an image of how people should behave in society. On the other hand, post-modernism has its own criticises as for not taking into account the role of individuals or the relationships between social institutions also some sociologists may disagree that individuals are living in a post-modern society. Collectivism

Collectivism is set on the political beliefs where is stresses the importance of a collective society. Collectivists believe that collective goals are more significant than individual goals as the society has more value than separate individuals therefore each individual has a responsibility to each other individual. Collectivism mainly studies the importance of society and community while giving priority to group goals over individual goals. Welfare services are generally common and are provided by government funding meaning individuals within the society can expert their government to provide for them. Another way to view collectivism is having an approach to providing health and social care services that may be underpinned by commitment from government to offer care and support for the vulnerable which is funded by tax and National Insurance. The vulnerable audience may include children, older people, and people with physical impairments as well as those with mental health issues. The Beveridge Report (1942) provided the political foundation for a comprehensive range of welfare services. Lord Beveridge in the report of Social Insurance and Allied Services highlighted the five main “Giant Evils” that immediately needed to be challenged.

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