Introduction

David Mechanic, in his pioneering textbook, Medical Sociology/.!) views human activity within an adaptive framework—as a struggle of human beings to control their environment and life situation. Whilst this view informs the research to be outlined, there are a number of ways it differs in emphasis from much medical sociology. First, by its concern with particular disorders defined in medical terms. Second, by its emphasis on the use of the investigator rather than respondent to characterize phenomena—to decide, for example, whether an incident should be classified as a life event or whether a person's account of sadness and tearfulness is sufficient to be classed as 'depressed mood'. Third, by its recognition that emotion needs to be taken into account if meaning of environmental happenings are to be assessed, since it is emotion that makes things matter for us: 'A world experienced without any affect would be a pallid, meaningless world. We would know that things happened, but we would not care whether they did or not'.(2) It is emotions that give us feedback about what is important and meaningful in our lives; about what is good or bad/3,4) And finally by its emphasis on the need to take account of context. In order to grasp, for example, the likely meaning of an event such as a loss of a job it is essential to know whether it cast the person in a bad or humiliating light; its impact on the person's family; his or her chances of getting another job, and so on. It is such surrounding circumstances to an event such as loss of a job or a marital separation.that usually give it meaning via the emotion they help to create.

Breaking Bulimia

Breaking Bulimia

We have all been there: turning to the refrigerator if feeling lonely or bored or indulging in seconds or thirds if strained. But if you suffer from bulimia, the from time to time urge to overeat is more like an obsession.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment