Write about the different sociological perspectives and different theories on suicide, family, and health and medicine

In sociology there are many different perspectives. The perspectives are split up into two different group’s macro sociology and micro sociology. Macro sociology detriments the individuals behaviour e.g. society shapes the person you are going to be. Micro sociology means a way of looking at things, people who believe in micro believe the individuals who live in it construct the society. Marxist and functionalist believe in macro sociology, interactions and feminist believe in micro sociology.

A functionalist looks at society like a biologist looks at a human body. A functionalist sees everything in the world as a function and a meaning e.g. we need the environment we live in to start a family, and a family needs a education which leads to your economical status, which makes us have a good or bad environment.

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Functionalist use methods to get our statistics by using questionnaires, survey and structured interviews.

Every society has basic needs and it needs to be organised so people can face them basic needs. Functionalist say there is to be order in every society if a society is going to exist.

Durkheim’s theory of suicide was based on the idea that it was the degree of social solidarity that explained variations in suicide rate by social solidarity he ment the bonds that hold people together. If the bonds were to loose then people would feel weakly connected to society and was more likely to commit suicide. If the bond were to tight then this could also lead to suicide as a person could loose their sense of self-preservation. Rates of suicide were consistent within society but varied between patterns e.g. catholic countries have low rates of suicide because they wont admit to people committing suicide they put it down to accidental death. Also in catholic countries there is different places people can go so they can feel closer together e.g. church.

Functionalists believe family is important for reproduction, love and support they believe that the mother is there to love and take care of the children. Parson’s theory of the development of the family is a general theory. He argues that the nuclear form of the family was well suited to the economy. Within this unit roles were specialised that one adult should be earning money from a paid job and the other should be at home with the children.

In the eighteenth century adults were expected to take part in activities such as producting craftwork, collecting wood or arranging the food.

I believe personally that family is important to get you through day to day activities, I feel that if I didn’t have my family for love and support then I would feel weakly connected to society, this could lead to depression or suicide.

In contrast interactionists see the world in different methods they see suicide in a different way than a functionalist, they see it as a micro sociology (which means a way of looking at things) they believe that individuals construct the society they live in. Douglas sees suicide in a different way then durkheime, he points out that the decision to weather a sudden death is suicide is made by a coroner and this is influenced by friends and family etc. Douglas suggests that if a person commits suicide family and friends may try to hide the fact that it is suicide and blame it on accidental death, because they believe it is there sense of responsibility to try and cover it up. Douglas points out that different cultures have different meanings of suicides, it is best to interview the person who knew them well.

Atkinson doses not except that suicide exists as something waiting to be discovered. He feels that if sociologists believe this then they will seek facts that have nothing to do with social reality. He says society is part of the social world and if a death is unnatural then the officials will believe it is a suicide (themes and perspectives). Coroner’s theory of suicide contains explanations if a person is brought up in broken homes, care or as suffered from nervous breakdowns then they are more likely to commit suicide than if a person as a normal up bringing. Also if a person as no family ties and feels alone in the world then they are also at high risk of feeling low and committing suicide.

Radical psychiatrists explain the bad terms of being in a family. They say that a nuclear family is the prime area of emotional pressure and anxiety. In some families people can feel underpressure due to work or lack of sleep. It is known that a main factor in this development is caused by an illness called schizophrenia. This is well known illness that is associated with the term madness. Schizophrenia is a disease of the brain, the main disturbances are though thought process but this can extend to emotional and disturbing behaviour. The symptoms of this disease are hallucinations and delusions (positive) and apathy and withdrawal (negative). In some families adults have different rules for different family members. If a person as a mental illness in a family then it can be treated as a whole family unit.

A Marxist is someone who believes that society is made up of two main groups, ruling class and working class.

A ruling class person is someone who owns his or her own company or business.

A working class person is someone who works for someone else.

Power lies in the economic base. This determines dominant ideology through the media, religion, education and family. If someone is in trouble these people will deal with it, if the people in society don’t listen then the court, army or mental insinuations (also known as the coroner) will deal with them. Marxist sees capitalism and its insinuations like family as oppressive, which means when the rich control the poor, or when a man controls a woman. Marxists believe that family is there to support the worker, they believe the worker should earn the money and the extended family should do the day to day activities e.g. cook clean wash etc.

A feminist is someone who believes that society is also split in to two groups but they see the division between men and women. Many feminists argue that men have more power than women do. They have higher income and better-paid jobs. Feminists believe that all husbands don’t oppress their wives but they are treated unequally in the workplace. There are 3 different types of feminism:

Liberal feminism

Socialist’s feminism

Radical feminism

A liberal feminist is someone who believes in changing the law to give people equal opportunities in both work and the workplace.

Socialist’s feminist is someone who believes until capitalism no longer exists there will not be equality in society.

Radical feminists believe that society should only exist as women.

Feminists introduced the study of areas in family life e.g. housework and domestic violence in to sociology.

Feminists challenge the view of male domination in families because they believe that men have greater benefits in families than others. Feminists argue that family life is based on co-operation, love, and shared interest, many feminists have questioned other feminists so that they can emphasise different experiences of women and see the different ways, which they are disadvantage in the workplace.

Parson’s functionalism looks at the role a sick person plays in society. Parsons stressed the motivation of being sick and getting better. Some people decide weather they are sick or not to withdrawal themselves from normal activities. Medicine is there to cure and control those who are sick so that they can return to their day-to-day activities and responsibilities. The sick role requires commitment to those who are unwell to return to normal as soon as they are well again. Doctors role is to act in the best interest of the patient, they have the right to look at the patient’s body and take personal details from them.

Functionalist believe that society is like a flow, if a person falls ill then it effects other people in society as they are unable to carry out roles around them.

Symbolic interactionism looks at the idenity through interaction with others. Most studies show that a doctor as more power over a patient but if a patient consumes medicine from a market then they have the right to take it without doctor’s consent. At a stage when a person is really sick the doctor as the right to say what happens however at a later stage the patient can become more involved as they are responsible for the management of there lives. Labelling is component in illness through the way people treat the ill person (doctors, friends, family) if a person as cancer than they are labelled a cancer patient even though they are still a person e.g. mother, friend etc.

Marxist theory is more focused on the way money is structured in society to determine equality and power.

Medicine as become a market product and can be brought and sold like any other product. Marxist claim that just because medicine is the organisation of health care, it doesn’t mean it is free of capitalist influence.

Marxist claim that most health problems are linked with unhappy and stressful work environments however rather than seeing the problems as individual’s weakness Marxist see it as disadvantage of class and social construct. There is a pattern of unhealthy workers who work in industrial places linked with industrial substances; these substances are known to be responsible for 10% of male cancers.

Over the past century feminists have male dominated medical professions they have medicalised events for women associated with pregnancy, menstruation and childbirth. Women themselves invented this medical invention and emerged medical professions to open a medicine market. In the 1950s pregnancy became a medical condition. Most women suffered from depression, anxiety and sleepiness. Most disorders that required motivation were linked with men. Feminists argue that only by breaking the main road with medicine women will gain control over their bodies. Most women who work with medicine are paramedics or nurses, these jobs are lower paid and they have less occupational status. Even though females attend the same medical school with the same attitude as their male friends they are still disadvantaged in the workplace.

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