Understanding of health

Parson’s sick role is credited with bringing a revolution into modern understanding of health, sickness and the “sick role”. For years, many researchers have pointed out towards the usefulness of Parson’s theory on the “sick role”. Though shrouded with controversy and often validly criticized, the theory has still managed to create a platform for other researches relating to illness, health and the sick role. It has, without doubt, helped mankind understand human nature and biology better. Talcott Parson modeled the theory in the 1950’s.

He offered the world a new lens to look at human health from dealing explicitly with medical sociology. The main difference that Parson offered was related to the difference between biomedical models and medical sociology models. Parson stated that when a person is sick or ill, he is playing a role in society. This role is characterized as a deviant behavior under the functionalism school of thought. During this time, the patient temporarily observes behavior that is deviant but medically sanctioned.

Biomedical models depict illnesses as a biological malfunction due to some virus, or failure of the mechanical functioning of the body. The basis of Parson’s views was a combination of ideas used from prominent researchers such as Sigmund Freud and Max Weber. Both these researchers created a base of knowledge which Parson used to develop his own theory on the sick role. The paper analyzes in detail Parsons theory on the sick role and then further explains how it has helped health and sociology.

At the same time, it further analyzes the sociological aspects of health and illness in society. The “Sick Role”: According to Parson, the “sick role” is not just when an individual becomes sick. It is not a “state” or condition alone, in reality, the individual is actually playing a role in society of deviant behavior. Parson used Freud’s relationship theories to develop his own patient-doctor relationship patterns. Parson claimed that the sick role is a deviant form of behavior that human beings take part in for the extra attention and of course to recover from illness.

These theories were developed using Freud’s models and revealed that the relationship is quite similar to that of the parent and child. Similarly, the theory that Parson developed also took aspects of the functionalist perspective and the teachings of Max Weber. According to Weber, there are three different types of authority; charisma, traditions, and last, legal and rational authority. Doctors enjoy credibility by profession and legal authority to treat patients. Thus, it often becomes binding on patients to listen to their doctors. These relationships develop and determine the sick role.

The functionalist perspective also states that people who are sick and act the way they do so that they are not responsible for their behavior or position. Their duties and obligations become null and void during their time as being “sick” and are excused on account of health. However, this allows patients and other people to take a break from everyday routine and enjoy a little attention from their close relationships. Parson’s theory in detail: According to Parson, the sick role employs 4 major characteristics and expectations. These expectations can be categorized in rights and duties.

It is considered fundamentally fair for sick people to enjoy certain privileges. One such privilege is the allowance to be absent from normal social roles that they play every day. A mother can be excused from making the early morning …

Sociology of health examines the interaction between society and health. It targets to identify the ways social life has an impact of morbidity and mortality rates (Timmermans, Stefan & Steven Haas 2008). The term health is complex and difficult to …

WE WILL WRITE A CUSTOM ESSAY SAMPLE ON ANY TOPIC SPECIFICALLY FOR YOU FOR ONLY $13.90/PAGE Write my sample Physical Disability as Deviance             According to Becker (1963) in the Labeling Theory of Deviance, deviance is a “label applied to …

Parson established four norms that governed the sick role. One, the individual is not responsible for their illness. Two, exemptions of the sick from normal obligations like paid work, family duties and housework, until they are well. Three, any illness …

UPMC is one of the best health care systems in Western Pennsylvania. It has attracted the best physicians and the best medical practitioners from all over. It has since become a seven billion dollar employer and now employs around 50,000 …

This essay centres on the structure versus agency debate and the extent to which different positions in this debate affect our understanding of cosmetic surgery. Structure refers to external factors which are beyond an individual’s control and how these factors …

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