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Basic concepts in medical sociology

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Definitions of select terms and concepts relevant to medical sociology

Publicado en: Salud y medicina
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Basic concepts in medical sociology

  1. 1. Introduction to basic concepts in sociology Dr. Rizwan S. A. Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, VMCHRI, Madurai.
  2. 2. Learning objectives  At the end of this lecture you should be able to  Define the terms related to medical sociology  Describe the role of sociology in health
  3. 3. What is sociology?  Study of human relationships and of human behavior  Concerned with the effects on the individual of the ways in which other individuals think and act  Medical sociology: the study of cultural factors and social relations in relation to illness
  4. 4. Some terms 1. Society 2. Community 3. Social structure 4. Social institutions 5. Role 6. Socialism 7. Socialization 8. Social control mechanisms 9. Customs, Culture 10. Acculturation 11. Standard of living 12. Dynamics of social change 13. Social stress 14. Social problems 15. Social pathology 16. Social surveys, Case study 17. Communication 18. Social defence
  5. 5. Society  Group of people settle down and organize  System of laws and customs  Public health is a part
  6. 6. Examples of society
  7. 7. Community  Social group determined by geographical boundaries and/or common interests
  8. 8. Social structure  Pattern of inter- relations between persons
  9. 9. Organizational chart
  10. 10. Social institutions  An organized complex pattern of behaviour in which a number of persons participate in order to further group interest  Eg. Family, school, church
  11. 11. Examples of social institutions
  12. 12. Role  Individuals are allocated roles as people in a drama  Ascribed or achieved  When a person falls ill, he assumes “sick role”
  13. 13. Socialism  Any economic doctrine that favours the use of property and resources of the country for the public welfare  Social ownership  ’All for all' and 'each for all’
  14. 14. Socialization  Process by which an individual gradually acquires culture and becomes a member of a social group
  15. 15. Social control mechanisms  Formal – laws and acts  Informal - social pressure exerted by powerful groups, individuals, friends
  16. 16. Customs  Folkways, mores  Public takes active part  Convention
  17. 17. Culture  Learned behaviour which has been socially acquired  Has a profound influence on health and disease
  18. 18. Acculturation  “Culture contact"  Trade, industrialization, religion, education, conquest
  19. 19. Dynamic of social change  The interaction between social factors and health issues is complex and sometimes unpredictable  Traditional, transitional and modern societies
  20. 20. Transition society
  21. 21. Social stress  Conflict generated by new opportunities and societal changes  Migration, mass media, tourism, technology  Factor in all diseases
  22. 22. Social problems  Poverty, crime and disease - common social problems  Many public health problems are social problems like drugs, alcohol
  23. 23. Examples for social problems
  24. 24. Social pathology  Limited in meaning  Poverty, crime, delinquency  Uncovered by social surveys
  25. 25. Examples of social pathology
  26. 26. Social surveys  Objective is to study the role of social factors in the etiology of disease  Relationship of social factors to heart disease, cancer and arthritis
  27. 27. Case study  Method of exploring and analyzing person, family, institution, community in a detailed manner  May not be representative of a larger population
  28. 28. Field study  Concerned with depth of knowledge  Observation of people in situ.
  29. 29. Communication  A social process - flow of information, circulation of knowledge and ideas, and the propagation of thoughts  To bring about changes in behaviour
  30. 30. Social defence  Preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitative services for the protection of society from antisocial, criminal or deviant conduct of man  Juvenile delinquency, eradication of beggary, welfare of prisoners, prison reforms, elimination of prostitution, control of alcoholism, drug addiction
  31. 31. Thank you Send me your queries to This presentation is available on