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Sociology - Social Institution - Research Paper Example

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Running head: Sociology Sociology (name) (date) Sociology Introduction The social institutions like family, healthcare, religion, education, mass media, political, and the economic are the institutions which govern society. These institutions help manage the overall dealings of individuals with each other and with their government…
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Download file to see previous pages This study is being carried out in order to establish a more comprehensive and scholarly understanding of these theories as they apply to healthcare delivery and its pertinent applications. Discussion Functionalism in healthcare Talcott Parsons is a functionalist theorist who has made the most notable discussions on the impact of functionalism in healthcare. Parsons (1951) has emphasized in his discussions about the social significance of the sick role. He emphasized that there is an inherent motivation in being sick and in subsequently getting better. In effect, “people have to decide that they are sick and in need of treatment” (Palgrave Macmillan, n.d, p. 359). As being sick often implies having to choose to withdraw from usual social behavior, it therefore also becomes a type of deviance and in effect, the successful functions of society are based on the management and control of those who are sick. Functionalism implies therefore that the role of medicine and healthcare is to manage the sick and facilitate their return to their usual activities (Pakgrave Macmillan). The sick role therefore calls for those who are sick to try to return to their normal activities at the soonest time possible. Functionalists define the sick role in various ways. Firstly, those who are sick are legally excused from their usual work and family responsibilities. Secondly, those who are sick need professional help in order to make themselves better. Thirdly, those who are sick have the responsibility to get better; their getting sick are only allowed in as far as they desire to get better. Lastly, those who are sick are expected to acquire professional treatment (Palgrave Macmillan, n.d). Illnesses are considered violations of social conventions in both the workplace and in the family setting. Functionalists therefore believe that establishing a broad definition of illness would interrupt the normal activities in society (Davidson and Delay, 2008). They believe that it can cause social instability it is considered a dysfunctional occurrence in normal societal functions. Conflict theory in healthcare According to the conflict theory, medicine has seemingly taken on a superiority which has expanded beyond the act of granting a student or a worker leave from school or work. According to Freidson (1970), contemporary medicine has now taken on the position of defining health, illness, and of treating such illness. The term medicalization of society is set forth by conflict theorists as a way to point out the expanding role of medicine in society and in the establishment of social control (Conrad, 2007). Such control involves strategies which help in managing behavior and in securing societal norms. Usually, informal societal control is seen among peers and families; formal and legal controls are implemented by police authorities and judges. In the same vein, the conflict theory views medicine as a regulating tool. And such control has been exerted in recent years by physicians being allowed to evaluate different issues, including obesity, alcoholism, and even sex addiction. Their expertise in these matters has been supported under the conflict theory because medicine is being considered for its healing and treatment potentials for these conditions (Davidson and Delay, 2008). In effect, medicine is now a tool for evaluating societal issues, in the hope of settling these issues ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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