Incorporating Scheff's Theory of Labeling - Essay Example

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Incorporating Scheff's Theory of Labeling: The role of attitudes and values in illness The aspect of health remains an important issue in different countries. Governments struggle to ensure that their citizens have access to health care, in a bid to ensure their good health…
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Incorporating Scheffs Theory of Labeling
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Download file to see previous pages Nonetheless, this essay focuses on illnesses and the role of values and attitudes in illnesses, with reference to the labeling theory of Scheff. Lauer and Lauer consider the term illness to include two major categories. These include the physical illnesses and the mental illnesses (378). According to Lauer and Lauer, physical illnesses mainly affect the physical body of an individual. For this reason therefore, physical illnesses might include illnesses such as malaria, AIDS, typhoid, diabetes, and the overall respiratory and viral infections experienced by people. On the other hand, mental illnesses, which are also referred to as mental disorders, are “problems that are deeply rooted in an individual, and have organic basis” (384). By using the word disorder instead of illness, this shows that the cause of mental illnesses can be traced to social aspects, and the resolution of mental illness too can be done through the social avenues. Therefore, this view of Lauer and Lauer, if analyzed or evaluated, might lead to the conclusion that, the difference between mental and physical illness is that, while physical illnesses are caused by the biological factors and affect an individual’s biology, mental illnesses on the other hand are caused by social factors, and mainly affect an individual’s psychology. Nonetheless, Lauer and Lauer have divided mental illnesses into three different categories. These include neurosis, psychosomatic, and psychosis (384). An individual that suffers from psychosis is characterized by the inability to differentiate internal and external stimuli, as the thinking perceptions of the individual are not in order. On the other hand, neurosis involves severe symptoms, which are capable of impairing the functioning of the affected individual. Psychosomatic disorders are however considered to be connected to the physiology of an individual. These result when an individual’s physiological functioning is impaired because of the emotional state of the individual (384). Lauer and Lauer argue that people have different values and attitudes with regard to illnesses. Nonetheless, the values and attitudes of people highly influence interpersonal relationships (388). In America, most people do not wish illnesses to interrupt their routine, even though they all are aware of the inevitability of illnesses. Furthermore, most people in society stigmatize life-threatening illnesses such as AIDS, and different types of mental illnesses. Family members will therefore, be afraid of being associated, or identifying with their relatives, who are victims of illnesses that carry a social stigma. Additionally, such individuals might receive inadequate medical care (389). Nonetheless, stigma, which is a result of negative attitudes toward illnesses, has adverse effects of the ill person, and only leads to a slow process of recovery of the individual. There are different perspectives about mental illnesses today, and what mental illnesses encompass. Different documentaries have delved into this issue, and came up with different insights into the causes of mental illnesses, and ways through which attitudes and values influence illness. For instance, a 2006 HBO documentary titled “Thin,” addresses the issue of Anorexia Nervosa and Anorexia Bulimia. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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