Sociology Health, Medicine, & Illness

Learning Goal: I’m working on a research & summaries report and need support to help me learn.

Prompt: My uncle is quick to judge other people. I can imagine him saying something like this as we sit around the Thanksgiving dinner table.

“People are idiots! Too many people don’t take care of their health. They eat too much or they eat a lot of junk food or they smoke cigarettes or they drink too much alcohol or they don’t exercise. So, they get sick from some chronic disease and die earlier than they should. They don’t listen to their doctors and they won’t do what they should be doing to stay healthy. Idiots!!

It’s true in general and it’s true in the case of COVID. Look at what happened when COVID first hit. Before the vaccines were available, it was clear that people who hadn’t taken care of their health were much more vulnerable to it. Not the old folks, of course — they were just old. But look at all of the younger ones who died: most of them had some pre-existing problem, like being fat or having diabetes that came from being fat. And now, look at all of the people who are still getting sick after the vaccines are available. They must just be idiots if they haven’t already been vaccinated.

The bottom line is that lots of people are idiots who make a lot of bad choices. If they took care of themselves and listened to their doctors and other medical experts, they’d have a much better chance of having long and healthy lives. Idiots! They’re all idiots!”

Write a post in which respond to my uncle by using what you have learned in modules one, two and three. Apply the sociological imagination to your response. Help my uncle to understand why “they’re all idiots” is not a sociological explanation of rates of disease. Explain how the sociology of medicine would explain rates of chronic illness and patterns of COVID death/illness without saying “people are idiots and make stupid choices”: show him that using a sociological approach helps us to understand these rates/patterns better than being judgmental does.

Your post must be a minimum of 500 words, not including bibliography

500 words = about two double-spaced pages

o Put your word count at the end of the post

o Double-space and use a 12-point font. Font refers to how big the type is. I need your work double-spaced and in a 12-point font so that I can read it!

o Indent your paragraphs. When you double space, you always indent your paragraphs.


o Citations and bibliography must be done in APA style


  • Have at least seven items from the first three modules in your bibliography. You can have more but not fewer.
  • Cite at least one of the major documentaries. (Given the topic of my uncle’s rant, you could easily cite more than one!)
  • Cite some of the smaller assignments (like newspaper articles) from at least two of the three modules.
  • Cite at least one of Dr. A.’s lectures; cite more, if there are ideas in them that are useful to your analysis.
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