Human health depends on several factors, such as environmental, industrial, and many others. These factors are already well-researched by scholars, whereas the impact of the social environment on health either remains unknown or insufficiently studied. Since there is a particular interrelationship between human health and social factors, which have an impact on people, it is essential to take them into account as well.
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There are some social factors that scholars have to consider. Scrambler (2018) claims that the main ones among them are “social location, circumstances, and learned or imitated behaviors” (p.12). These factors are the ones that researchers overlook when examining the general picture of their impact on health due to their complexity and ambiguity.
Social factors leading to severe diseases vary depending on whether they are individual or societal. The individual factors include race/ethnicity, income, wealth, education, and social status (Dean, Gehlert, Neuhouser, Zanetti, Goodman, and Schmitz, 2018). Examples of societal factors are community safety and social support. This implies that the primary reason for the emergence of diseases lies in social inequality.
The health of people of a particular culture also depends on their worldview. It relates to their values and experiences connected to illness and death. Such issues as the understanding of diseases by a person and the perception of it in his surroundings deserve special attention. The health of people can be at higher risk if it is typical for their culture not to pay attention to the illnesses considering them to be out of control or subject to the will of God. Thus, it is vital to be careful with the cultural backgrounds of people who need medical assistance.
However, people still tend not to pay attention to social factors looking for other ways to stay healthy. In their opinion, social support and social integration are two of the three least crucial factors (Haslam, McMahon, Cruwys, Haslam, Jetten, and Steffens, 2018). Recent studies have shown that people underestimate their influence on health.
Individual and societal factors, which have a significant impact on human health, remain the most important ones. Consideration of the worldview of different people and cultural groups ensures their health. The examination of social factors contributes to a better understanding of their influence on the health of individuals and the population as a whole. With this knowledge, one can receive better care that will increase the overall health of people.
Dean, L. T., Gehlert, S., Neuhouser, M. L., Oh, A., Zanetti, K., Goodman, M., & Schmitz, K. H. (2018). Social factors matter in cancer risk and survivorship. Cancer Causes & Control, 29(7), 611-618.
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Haslam, S. A., McMahon, C., Cruwys, T., Haslam, C., Jetten, J., & Steffens, N. K. (2018). Social cure, what social cure? The propensity to underestimate the importance of social factors for health. Social Science & Medicine, 198, 14-21.
Scambler, G. (2018). Sociology, Health and the Fractured Society: A Critical Realist Account. United Kingdom, Abingdon: Taylor & Francis.