LC459 Sociology Of Health

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LC459 Sociology Of Health

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LC459 Sociology Of Health

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Course Code: LC459
University: Buckinghamshire New University

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Country: United Kingdom


Write an essay on one  of the following. Discuss theories and concepts from the sociology of health in your essay and support your answer by drawing on appropriate academic literature.
1. Discuss the rise ofbio-medicine and its relevance to health and illness in contemporaryBritish society.
2. “Illness can beunderstood as aform of deviance.” Discuss.
3. Explain the main waysthat social class leads toinequalities in health.
4. How fardo models ofdisability help our understanding of the lived experience of disability?
5. Discuss culture in relation to health and illness, with reference to laybeliefs and laymanagement of health and illness.


Bio-medicine is the name given to the modern scientific medicine. It describes the biological concepts of medicine. Consequently, it gives the relationship about the learning of body structure, usually referred to as the anatomy and the body systems (physiology). Besides, bio-medicine helps in the understanding of the different body organs like the heart, brain, nerves, etc. Health is a condition in which all the body organs and parts are able to function properly without hitches (Nolan, 2017).  
Therefore, bio-medicine is one that provides the physical as well as the biological meaning of health. To establish whether the body parts or organs do not function properly, certain tests can be carried out. Consequently, there are drugs, or antibiotics could be used for curing specific diseases. Fractured or broken body parts can also be used for repairing or replacement (Åm, 2018). The Western cultures observe the biomedical model as the one of the most important ways of understanding the health and healthcare systems. It is plays a critical role in helping to understand the effectiveness of healthcare considering many problems that involve health.
Biomedicine and public health in Britain
The emergence of biomedicine has brought about the knowledge of the causes of different diseases. Recently, there has been a revolution in terms of industrialization and urbanization which has also directly and indirectly contributed to the emergence of different diseases. In this connection, there has been a movement of public health. The mandate of the public is to create to discover the emergence of diseases, create awareness, advice and implement a work plan to ensure that the public is adequately informed (Kendrick and Beesley, 2016). The public health movements have been in the fore front in implementing policies that are aimed at the environment is friendly enough for the existence of human being.
The emergence of biomedicine has played an important role in making people of UK to understand health and illnesses. There are many instances where biomedicine has proved to be beneficial to issues of health. Such proponents of biomedicine include the reduction of the rates of mortality and improvement of general health of individuals. However, there have been arguments that reduction of mortality rates has been made possible by improvement in housing and the working conditions. Specifically, improved nutrition is seen to have played a vital role in the general reduction of mortality rates (Tsai, 2011). Although biomedicine has made it possible to find the cure for many diseases, it is important to realize the link between the environment and the public health. This is because the inclusion of public health considerations in the impacts and developments of the biomedical model has brought many discoveries and benefits in the public health sector as well as the improvement of individual health.
The relation between medicine and the study of life is believed to be as old as medicine. However, since the nineteenth century, historians have explained that there is a remarkable transformation in the development of physiology and bacteriology that have been used in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The history of bacteriology symbolises the problems of conflicting trends in the development of medicine (Nolan, 2017). Although people can celebrate that the invention of bacteriology was fruitful, some bacteriological inventions like diphtheria and the bacteriology itself did not give a comprehensive effect on the public health sector of the early twentieth century.
Additionally, historians give account on the history of tuberculosis in Europe as one that started as early as the nineteenth century. The successful discovery of tuberculosis, however, is not because of animal modelling but it also came from the discovery of the use of X-rays which made it possible to detect and diagnose it as early as possible (Pilgrim, 2012). Therefore, it is true that after the invention of antibiotics, for instance, in the late 1940s and early 1950s that proper intervention to control and treat the tuberculosis-causing bacteria was found due to the contribution of bacteriology which, was discovered through combined research by both academic and industrial labs. Considering the discovery of tuberculosis, we can conclude that biomedicine was completely discovered and invented after the World War II (Happell and Cleary, 2012). 
Recently, several researches have proved that there is a huge improvement into the way biomedicine has evolved. More importantly, increased investment in research and entrepreneurial development have improved the findings about the biomedicine and its applications in healthcare. It has also helped in describing the culture of therapeutic medicines (Johnston, 2015). For instance, the search for the treatment of diseases likes, tuberculosis, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases has bored fruits. After the Second World War, there was an intensified research on biomedicine and more interventions in biology and the relationship between biomedicine and the rest of biology (Iredale, 2000). There was a renewed tension in the search for new inventions on diagnosis, causes, and cure of different diseases that were affecting people.
During these periods, there was intensified research on three different categories of medicine: clinical medicine, experimental medicine, and social medicine. However, biomedicine is overridden by the experimental medicine; other types have been developed alongside those discovered by the experiments. The biomedical scientists have now developed a healthy and reasonable relationship between other sets of medical scientists (Gross, 2012). This mutual relationship has made it possible to expedite the research in medicine and diseases and also making it easy to discover diagnosis and treatment of many diseases. Although there have been difficulties in effective collaboration of scientists, due different nationalities, but this has not totally hindered the greater achievements that have been realized.
However, it is important to point out that there is the conclusive overview of the history of biomedicine in United Kingdom after 1945, more so concerning the dynamic relation between the labs, clinical environments, and those leading public health sectors, and considering those countries that have immensely contributed to the western medical culture (Happell, Cleary, 2012).
Biological and laboratory research have contributed to the great history of biomedicine in the United Kingdom from late 1940s to early 1950s, mostly in the investigations and studies about molecules that led to biologists discovering macromolecular structures for example the DNA and the genes (Brown, 2012). These developments in medicine sciences also came with their own consequences such as with notably, the discovery of cancer diseases and inbred strains of mice. Despite all these advances, there are still direct effects of molecular biology on biomedicine, such as the discovery of diagnostic tools among others. Therefore, the development of biomedicine is seen as having brought medical intervention, therapeutic revolution, and the transformation in healthcare (Adekola, 2013).
Throughout this time and still in the field off healthcare, an intensified research in pharmaceutical drugs in relation to biomedicine has seen very good results.
The results of very good biomedicine have proved an intensive research by both scientists and biologists. In Britain, the term biomedicine appeared in the first dictionary to mean clinical medicine considering physiological principles and biochemistry (Bunn, 2011). In the period of World War II, the term biomedicine was commonly used to mean medical research thus it brought the invention of Medical Research Council, a body that was mainly concerned with medical research, policies and regulations. The council moved slightly away from the public health perspective and concentrated in biological research rather than just becoming a policy maker as was done by public health bodies. It started by establishing research units in major hospitals within Britain. These research units were responsible for doing carrying out research activities as per the emergence of diseases at their disposal. This was basically the biomedical work, and majority of the work involved was research work in to variations of diseases and their treatment (Bunn, 2011). The extensive use of medical data in Britain where it is believed to have been developed and nurtured by the policies of public health, gave rise to the clinical research and regulations on practices of the same and trials on drugs.
The biomedicine has improved healthcare systems and the benefits are here with us. For now, many inventions have come up from the research biologists and scientists around the world.
Today, Britain has made tremendous improvement in the medical world and more specifically the biomedicine. Due to strong research institutions that include hospitals and universities, a lot of research on clinical medicine has proved successful inventions. It is important to note that the fact that the government invests heavily on the research, has made it easy to invent new technologies that ease the research work. This has been made possible by strong legislation, policies, and regulations that govern the field of medical intervention. Today, medical researchers in Britain have made tremendous improvement in medical research thereby mixing the biomedical research with other proponents of medical research. This has brought new interventions, innovations, and the results are amazing.
Adekola, G. (2013). Traditional Apprenticeship in the Old Africa and Its
Relevance to Contemporary Work Practices in Modern Nigerian Communities. British Journal of Education, Society & Behavioural Science, 3(4), pp.397-406. 
Brown, S. (2012). Putting a Name to it: Diagnosis in Contemporary
Society. Sociology of Health & Illness, 34(1), pp.157-157.
Bunn, C. (2011). Anthropology of Biomedicine. Sociology of Health & Illness, 33(5), pp.817-818.
Gross, S. (2012). Biomedicine inside out: an ethnography of brain surgery. Sociology of Health & Illness, 34(8), pp.1170-1183.
Happell, B. and Cleary, M. (2012). Promoting health and preventing illness: promoting mental health in community nursing practice. Contemporary Nurse, pp.2648-2653.
Iredale, R. (2000). Eugenics and its Relevance to Contemporary Health Care. Nursing Ethics, 7(3), pp.205-214.
Johnston, M. (2015). What more can we learn from early learning theory? The contemporary relevance for behaviour change interventions. British Journal of Health Psychology, 21(1), pp.1-10.
Kendrick, E. and Beesley, D. (2016). Perceived stress, illness invalidation, and symptom severity in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behaviour, 4(4), pp.217-225.
Nolan, P. (2017). Nineteenth century mental health care and its relevance today. British Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 6(6), pp.261-264.
Pilgrim, D. (2012). The British welfare state and mental health problems: the continuing relevance of the work of Claus Offe. Sociology of Health & Illness, 34(7), pp.1070-1084.
Åm, H. (2018). Ethics as ritual: smoothing over moments of dislocation in biomedicine. Sociology of Health & Illness, New York, Longhorn.
Tsai, F. (2011). Biomedicine brings the future nearer. BioMedicine, 1(1), p.1. 

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