SOC101: Unit 5 Discussion

  1. Compare and contrast the cultural meaning of illness, the social construction of illness, and the social construction of medical knowledge.

  2. What are some disparities of health based on gender, socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity?

  3. What are some real-world examples of environmental racism? Provide examples to support your answer.

  4. Where do you think one would expect to find the greatest urban growth rate in the world?

  5. What are some effects of migration from rural areas to urban centers in the United States?

  6. Describe different forms of collective behavior. Provide some contemporary examples of these forms.

  7. Explain how technology, social institutions, population, and the environment can bring about social change. Provide some examples.

  1. Our culture views illness in different ways. It decides what illnesses are considered stigmatized, a disability, and contestable and which are not. The social construction of an illness is determined by our own perception of it. Illness can change the way we see our lives. Some may see it as an end to their quality of life and some may see it as a new discovery of themselves. The social construction of medical knowledge can show and cause inequality in genders, socioeconomic class, race, and in ethnicity.
  2. And example of Gender inequality in health is that women usually have to pay higher insurance premiums than men. Another example is that some insurances do not cover contraceptives for women. Some developing countries may experience inequality when it comes to health because they do not have access to much needed medical services due to their financial struggle. African Americans experience higher mortality rates than their white counterparts. This can be an example of a health disparity of race and ethnicity.
  3. Minority groups are more likely to live near hazardous environments. This can cause major health problems for the locals. An example would be the Flint water crisis in Michigan where lead poisoning in the Flint river caused neurological damage to the locals.
  4. Tokyo, Japan has the highest rate of urbanization and population compared to the rest of the world.
  5. Rural to urban migration can cause children to have lower school enrollment since they are seeking jobs to support their families. It can also cause crowding in the urban areas and lead to social strain.
  6. There are three different types of collective behavior: crowd, mass and public. Crowds are large groups of people in a small area. There can be casual crowds, which are people who are together but don’t have anything on common like standing in line at a store checkout. Conventional crowds are people who come together for a regular, scheduled event like church. Expressive crowds are people that join together for a fundraiser or wedding to express mutual emotion. Acting crowds are people who join for a mutual cause such as a protest. A mass is a large group of individuals that all have a common interest but may not always be in the same area. Most examples of these are people that group together online. A public is a group of people that simple share ideas. Such as a political party.
  7. Technology can cause social change through advances. New technology has helped in the medical field to bring us new ways to help prolong life. Social institutions has caused family size to shrink due to more opportunities for more industrial jobs rather than running a farm. Population in poorer parts of the world can cause stress on the areas resources. The environment can be affected by the human population. An increase in populations makes for a higher risk of those being affected by natural disasters.


1 Our views on illness is sometimes stigmatized. Society dictates which are considered a disability and which are not. The construction of illness is our own perception of it. How we reveal the disease and cope with the illness. Long term illness can make you feel your world is smaller or it’s the end of quality of life.The social contraction of medical knowledge can reflect and produce inequalities in gender, class and race.

2 Gender inequality in health that women have to pay more in insurance premiums then men. Inequalities are experienced by some developing countries . They don’t have the access to medical care do to lack of medical resources and unable to pay for it. White males live longer then black males and the mortality rate is higher in blacks.

3 Monitory group neighborhoods are burdened with the hazards such as toxic waste, garbage dumps and other environmental pollution.Chester, PA. most of the population are African Americans living in poverty. Their small town is host too four toxic and waste treatment facilities. Chester has a high mortality, lung cancer and low-weight birth rate. The children have the highest concentration of lead in their bloodstream for the state of PA. .

4 Tokyo, Japan has the highest rate of urbanization and population

5 Migration from the the rural to the urban areas may cause problem with the inadequate housing, lack of room in schools. Some children may not attend school so they can work to help support family.Also contributes to traffic congestion and the need for more natural resources. causing a social strain on the urban area.

6 Crowd: fairly large number of people in a proximity. A crowd can be people attending a concert or sports event. Casual crowd: are people are people in the same place at the same time, but don’t really inter act. Like standing in line at a store. Conventional crowd:who come together for a scheduled event. like a church service. Expressive crowd: when people come together to express emotions, often a funeral. Acting crowd: focuses on a specific goal or event, such as a protest or riot.
Mass: a relatively large number of people with a common interest, they may not be in close proximity. such as players of an internet game like candy crush.
Public: an unorganized group of people who share ideals, such as the liberation party.

7 Technology: has many ways improved our lives,It has added automobiles,electricity and mass media. Media has made use more of a social society by the use of facebook or snap chat. Technology is the driving force of globalization. Medical technology allows use to live longer, which is putting a strain on the healthcare and resources. There is a digital- divide of those who can afford these technologies.

  1. Different illnesses have different meanings depending on whether they are stigmatised or accepted, or whether or not people believe they are legitimate. This, in turn, leads to the social construction of illness, in which society shapes and is shaped by medical ideas. It also results in the social construction of medical knowledge, wherein cultural meanings associated with illnesses dictate how and if they are treated.

  2. Different demographics have different experiences with health and healthcare. For example, women may be more likely to be diagnosed with personality disorders, while those of lower socioeconomic status may have more difficulty accessing healthcare, either as a result of the cost of the care itself, the cost of travelling to receive it, or the education level needed to find it.

  3. The Dakota Access Pipeline is an example of environmental racism. The pipeline was diverted to avoid the homes of middle-class white residents due to concerns over water safety, but it was diverted through Native American land with no care for the importance of the natural water sources to the community.

  4. One would probably expect to find the greatest urban growth in semi-peripheral, developing countries, which are transitioning from an agriculture-led economy to one led by factory production and information services.

  5. Migration from rural areas to urban centres in the US can affect living space (more people in an area), property prices (higher demand) and a change in demographics, e.g. gentrification.

  6. Collective behaviour is any noninstitutionalised activity in which several people voluntarily engage. It can happen in crowds, a mass or a public. Casual crowds are crowds who are engaging in a shared activity but aren’t really interacting, such as people sitting in a park on a warm day. Conventional crowds come together for a regularly scheduled activity, such as an exercise class. Expressive crowds are gathered to express emotion, such as attendees at a christening. Acting crowds have a specific goal or action, such as a group of people at a protest march.

  7. Technology can bring about social change by changing the way we communicate and the time we spend doing certain activities. Social institutions can bring about social change by, for example, changing the accepted working hours, which in turn would change the way people manage their time. The population can bring about social change as sudden increases or decreases in population require societies to change the way they allocate resources. The environment can bring about social change as events such as extreme weather can suddenly change the situation of a society or population.


1.the cultural meaning of illness is relate it to our view to the illness and how we see that type of the illness some illnesses are stigmatized,the stigmatization of illness have a great effect on patient and kind of care she or he receives, our health care institution discriminate against certain type of disease,this view about certain illness may keep people from seeking help for their illness,the social construction of medical knowledge is socially constructed it can reflect and reproduce inequality in gender ,class,race and ethnicity.
2.we can see disparities based on race and ethnicity such as the average life expectancy for white males is higher than black males in USA the black Americans higher incidence of several diseases such as cancer,diabetes,racial inequality in care, African Americans, Indians received less healthcare than Caucasian.
we can also see disparities based on gender for example women are affected by access inequality and institutional sexism in health care industry.
our socioeconomic status play a large role in disparity in health, wealthy people have more healthcare than a poor people lower incidence of several disease.educated persons have more information about health and how to take care of it,so they follow a good lifestyle they exercise they eat healthy.
3.toxic waste, flooding, pollution from heavy industrial.
4.the greatest urban growth rate in the world we would expect it in postindustrial countries.
5.migration from rural to urban area can increase the rate of unemployment,poverty,high rate of crimes, overcrowding.
6.forms of collective behavior.casual crowd such as people standing in line at post office,conventional crowd people join together for a schedule event such as religious service,expressive crowd are people come together to express emotion like funeral;wedding,action crowd such as protesters manifestation they focus on specific goal or action.
social change can occurred due to several factors first technology the progression of technology has big effect on social change such as advances in medical technology allow infertile woman to bear a child advances in agriculture technology permit us to product a big quantity of food, genetically modified food.
population composition can change at every level of society, we all know infertility is increasing in some nations and decreasing in others, population can also change due to a random external forces such as an epidemic or shift in one social institution.
the environment and the people affect each other, the behavior of human being can lead to a big a change in environment and we see an increase number of people effected by natural disaster.


Compare and contrast the cultural meaning of illness, the social construction of illness, and the social construction of medical knowledge.

The cultural meaning of illness relates to the fact that it is our culture and not our biology that can determines the stigmatization of particular illnesses, while the social construction of the illness experience relates to how that illness is presented in the world and is why the two phrases are linked. For instance, someone may fear stigmatization of their illness when they receive an AIDS diagnoses because the disease is looked down upon culturally, this will lead to a change in the patients behavior towards their illness. Perhaps the patient doesn’t publicly announce it where they may if they had a disease that was no so stigmatized, which can lead to not only differences in how they physically treat the illness but how the seek emotional and other types of support during the illness. The social construction of medical knowledge refers to how these types of attitudes have impacted medicine and create a negative reinforcement loop. For instance, fat people are stigmatized in healthcare as inherently unhealthy to such an extent where their bodies are not even studied regularly. Which of course leads to less medical knowledge of their bodies and substandard care that also causes poor health in those same people.

What are some disparities of health based on gender, socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity?

Statistics show that access to higher quality healthcare is determined by all of these factors and that if you are a cisgendered, able bodied, white, affluent man in a core nation, your chances of receiving high quality healthcare greatly exceed someone who does not meet those same standards. Much like with any other societal disparities including economic, geographic etc, socioeconomic factors are most highly correlated with access to quality healthcare, but a conflict theorist would point out rightly that socioeconomic status is routinely shaped by gender, race and ethnicity. Women must fight over the basic human right to control their own reproduction when men would never have to do the same. Poor people cannot access preventative tools and skills that feel like given knowledge to a person raised in an affluent community and was taught daily healthy preventative habits. The US has the highest rate of maternal mortality amongst core nations, and it’s even higher among black women. Black women and women of color are routinely forced to use local hospitals that have less funding and therefore, less staff and older equipment, while a white woman is more likely to be able to access a hospital where she will receive specialized attention. Additionally, studies show that women’s pain and the pain of people of color is taken less seriously than the pain of white people and men, this also explains why the maternal mortality rate among black mothers is so much higher than that of white mothers.

What are some real-world examples of environmental racism? Provide examples to support your answer.

The Water in Flint Michigan: The city of Flint is primarily African-American and their pipes are so terrible and unsafe that the residents of Flint have not had clean drinking or bathing water in several years. Due to numerous other intersecting issues, the residents are not able to move away but they aren’t able to fix the water without help from the government, which the government is not providing. This would be significantly less likely to happen to a predominantly white and/or more affluent community.

Standing Rock: A US company decided to route a pipeline through Native Lands owned by a tribe that is supposed to be considered sovereign. When the Tribe refused to grant them passage, the US government acted as an agent of social control and defended the company by harming the protestors participating in the collective action.

Cancer Clusters: This term refers to high propensity for similar cancer diagnoses among populations living in close proximity to each other, or even in the same neighborhood. While cancer clusters have most famously impacted low income communities, the stories that tend to make national news are the ones that happen to poor white communities rather than communities of color. Of course this is not always the case and certain situations are so egregious, such as Flint Michigan, that the environmental racism will make national news.

Where do you think one would expect to find the greatest urban growth rate in the world?
One would find high urban growth rate in core nations experiencing migration into large cities following the postindustrial tech jobs not available in rural communities, but even greater would be in semi-peripheral nations currently undergoing industrialization. Industrialization leads to rapid urban growth when people leave rural communities to look for jobs in factories or other type of industry.

What are some effects of migration from rural areas to urban centers in the United States?

At the beginning and through the end of Industrialization, there was rapid movement from rural areas to urban centers in the US based upon people moving to cities to work in factories or other types of industry. These workers needed to be housed and they needed to be close to their jobs, so they lived in former homes of the wealthy while the wealthy moved further out, due to the ability to afford the travel to the city center for work. These populations and the needs they presented led to the creation of concentric zone model, where wealthier people live on the furthest zone out in the suburbs. In today’s world though, it is just as likely to see a model of gentrification, where wealthy and typically white people move into what was a low income community and renovate to a point where the families that had been there in close proximity to services are now priced out.

Describe different forms of collective behavior. Provide some contemporary examples of these forms.
Collective behavior is non-institutionalized activity in which several or more engage and it can take the form of a crowd, a mass or the public. A mass and a public are different in that members of a mass share interests, whereas members of a public share ideas.

There are several types of crowds. A casual crowd is exactly that, a casual crowd of people not interacting but in the same place, such as a line at the DMV. A conventional crowd is a crowd that has convened for a purpose or regularly scheduled event, like a yearly state party assembly and convention. An expressive crowd is a crowd that join together to express an emotion, like a funeral or memorial service. The final type is an acting crowd, which is a crowd that has come together to take an action and has a shared goal in mind, such as a protest for gun control.

Explain how technology, social institutions, population, and the environment can bring about social change. Provide some examples.

Technology, social institutions, population and the environment are all inextricably linked together. You can’t talk about population and the birthrate decreasing if you aren’t also talking about the changes in how we as a society regard the social institution of marriage and the fact that younger people are opting more and more to be single at older ages. Though certain sociologists like Friedman, believed that technology was the defining factor of social change, I believe that view lacks context for events outside of human control. Technology is fundamental to human progression in every way; from how fire changed the ability of early humans to cook food or a wheel fundamentally changed design forever, to how the internet and cell phones have drastically changed our culture in the last 30 years at a rapid rate. Issues we talk about today like online bullying, didn’t even exist 30 years ago, so we have experienced the

The population of the US is directly tied to technology with the increase in the availability of IVF treatments, as well as the increase in the availability of birth control and reproductive healthcare. Population is also tied to social institutions like churches that preach increased population and against contraception, and the technology of farming equipment made it less necessary for farming families to have many children who could run the farms. The environment can be harmed by certain forms of technology like fracking, but the environment can also determine the entire make up of a city if a storm comes through and wipes out every home there. Our technology is linked to that storm because of the increased greenhouse gases it releases into the air. Everything is linked together.

construction of illness

Conflict Perspective
Theorists using the conflict perspective suggest that issues with the healthcare system, as with most other social problems,
are rooted in capitalist society. According to conflict theorists, capitalism and the pursuit of profit lead to the
of health: the changing of something not generally thought of as a commodity into something that can
be bought and sold in a marketplace. In this view, people with money and power—the dominant group—are the ones who
make decisions about how the healthcare system will be run. They therefore ensure that they will have healthcare
coverage, while simultaneously ensuring that subordinate groups stay subordinate through lack of access. This creates
significant healthcare—and health—disparities between the dominant and subordinate groups.
Alongside the health disparities created by class inequalities, there are a number of health disparities created by racism,
sexism, ageism, and heterosexism. When health is a commodity, the poor are more likely to experience illness caused by
poor diet, to live and work in unhealthy environments, and are less likely to challenge the system. In the United States, a
disproportionate number of racial minorities also have less economic power, so they bear a great deal of the burden of poor
health. It is not only the poor who suffer from the conflict between dominant and subordinate groups. For many years now,
homosexual couples have been denied spousal benefits, either in the form of health insurance or in terms of medical
responsibility. Further adding to the issue, doctors hold a disproportionate amount of power in the doctor/patient
relationship, which provides them with extensive social and economic benefits.
While conflict theorists are accurate in pointing out certain inequalities in the healthcare system, they do not give enough
credit to medical advances that would not have been made without an economic structure to support and reward
researchers: a structure dependent on profitability. Additionally, in their criticism of the power differential between doctor
and patient, they are perhaps dismissive of the hard-won medical expertise possessed by doctors and not patients, which
renders a truly egalitarian relationship more elusive.


Compare and contrast the cultural meaning of illness, the social construction of illness, and the social construction of medical knowledge.
What is considered illness in cultures can vary in different cultures. For example, a woman on her period in America will generally still go to work/school and do her usual tasks. However, in some cultures, women on their periods are considered sick and “dirty” and are shunned away from their families into isolated sheds. However, in America there is still a stigma around periods that they are dirty, not to be talked about around men, and make women inherently emotionally unstable. (The secretary was moody this morning? Ugh, she much be on her period). The social construction of illness is how humans decide what to consider ill and what is normal. In the past, an otherwise healthy person who was missing a leg might be consider ill and a cripple. However, many today would say that he is not ill, he just needs a few accommodations. In the past, people were told to drink warm milk, count sheep, and relax if they couldn’t fall asleep. Now, it is common to take medicines that help one fall asleep. Medical knowledge, to some extent, is also socially constructed. I personally do not think it is wise to be heavily questioning everything your doctor is telling you though, particularly in more extreme situations. However, some things, such as sexuality, show how doctors have been influenced by their cultures. Psychological associations used to label homosexual people as mentally ill. However, today the majority of people recognize homosexuality as personal preference and accept it.

What are some disparities of health based on gender, socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity?
Women are less likely than men to be believed when they say they are in pain, because there is a stereotype that women exaggerate and complain too much. (This is despite the fact that women can generally tolerate an eyebrow being plucked much better than men!) People in poorer communities are less likely to have top medical centers and specialist doctors in their area or available to them. Additionally, some doctors do not take medicaid because the paperwork is a nightmare (#government). It has been shown that black women are even less believed about their pain than other women, particularly in childbirth. This contributes to the higher infant death rate for babies of color than white ones.

What are some real-world examples of environmental racism? Provide examples to support your answer.
The NIMBY movement is largely middle and upper-middle class. When oil companies try to run oil pipes through their towns, the NIMBY movement is successful in pushing the oil companies out. The oil companies then move to places where there will be less backlash, such as Native American reservations, where the people simply do not have the resources to push the oil companies out.

Where do you think one would expect to find the greatest urban growth rate in the world?
Growth rate. In countries that are transitioning from industrial to post-industrial, such as in some parts of China.

What are some effects of migration from rural areas to urban centers in the United States?
Urban centers become more crowded. If people moving in are poorer, rich people may start to leave the city and go to the suburbs.

Describe different forms of collective behavior. Provide some contemporary examples of these forms.
Collective behavior is non-institutionalized. It exists in crowds, masses, and the public. Crowds are lots of people close together. Casual crowds are people in the same place not really interacting, such as on line for the new iPhone. Conventional crowds are people gathered to do the same thing, such as listen to a Jazz concert. Expressive crowds are those gathered with the expectation of expressing some emotion. This is used for events such as weddings, funerals, and baby showers. A mass are people with similar interests who aren’t necessarily close together, such as fans of a sports team all over the state, or people who aggressively play Fortnight. The public is a large disorganized group of people, such as members of a political affiliation “liberals” or simply people that are just “American.”

Explain how technology, social institutions, population, and the environment can bring about social change. Provide some examples.
Technology can bring about social change by bringing live news to everyday people, from everyday people. Livestreaming has allowed for truths about conditions to come out despite government efforts to hide bad conditions. Technology also allows for protests and flash mobs to be quickly organized, and for funds to be raised in natural disasters and for other causes. Social institutions, such as the judicial system, can bring about legal change and allow same-sex couples to marry. As the population changes, change can occur, such as China’s population which is ageing and will have many older people being needed to be supported by fewer young people. The environment can bring about social change when humans destroy the environment and then the environment kills thousands of people in natural disasters like storms which are a result of more extreme weather conditions due to human-induced climate change.