4.1 Introduction

As we said at the beginning of the last section, much of the impetus in earlier work on lay perspectives was to examine how far they deviated from the ‘true’ knowledge of experts. Now the emphasis has changed and there is a move to try to understand lay knowledge in order to inform expert knowledge, and in the process the distinction is increasingly being questioned. As Bury notes, the ‘opposition between the world of patients and doctors has been a major theme in medical sociology’ (
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3.4 Health and children

So far, all the studies we have discussed have been based on adults. Health viewed through children's eyes is receiving attention, mainly in order to be able to target health promotion messages. Bendelow and Pridmore (1998) interviewed 100 nine and 10-year-olds in three primary schools in urban and rural areas of south-west England. As well as having discussions with the children, they asked the children to draw pictures to convey their views. Their results are quoted in Box 2.


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3.3 Health and ethnicity

Clearly ethnicity, religion and culture have a great deal of influence on the way people view health. It was noted in the introduction to Section 2 that most of the early work was on health beliefs and that it was anthropological, focusing on ‘other’ cultures. Britain is a multicultural, multiracial societ
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2 Accounting for health

Until relatively recently most of the information available to us about how people think about health and illness was concerned with non-Western societies. There was a time when a search in a good anthropological library in Britain would reveal more about the everyday health beliefs of the peoples of, say, African, Asian or South American countries than could be discovered about the everyday health beliefs of the people of the British Isles. Good (1994), in his book Medicine, Rationality a
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1.1 Introduction

We have suggested that health is everywhere so let's put that to the test. It certainly seems that you cannot pick up a newspaper, listen to the radio or watch TV without sooner or later encountering a feature on health. We have been told by government that health is now ‘everybody’s business’ – it is no longer purely the preserve of health professionals. Health is also big business. It sells magazines and margarine – a whole range of products come with a health promise and one or t
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2.2 Identity and identities

Self-identity

In the previous section we considered the importance of people’s individual biographies to an understanding of who they are. Such biographies play an important part in making us who we are. In this section we will explore some of the ideas that have contributed to social workers’ understanding of the concept and importance of ‘identity’. These ideas are all examples o
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2 Focusing on the individual

In this section you will be thinking about the individual people who are at the heart of the social work process – the service user and the social worker. Relationships between social workers and service users are integral to all social work interventions, whatever the area of social work practice. Being able to build relationships with service users and colleagues, maintain them and reflect honestly on them are central to social work practice. In this section we will be exploring some aspe
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Introduction

This short course will introduce you to the social work role and develop your understanding of some of the knowledge and theory associated with social work practice. You will begin by thinking about key ideas, values, the social work process and the skills needed for social work practice. You will then move on to looking at social work with individuals, exploring the importance of biography. Finally you will consider reflective practice. Reflective activities will enable you to apply learning
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References

Department of Health (2011) UK Physical Activity Guidelines [Online], Available from https://www.gov.uk/ government/ publications/ uk-physical-activity-guidelines (Accessed
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Keep on learning

Study another free course

There are more than 800 courses on OpenLearn for you to
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Conclusion

This free course, Improving aerobic fitness, provided an introduction to studying Health & Wellbeing. It took you through a series of exercises designed to develop your approach to study and learning at a distance and helped to improve your confidence as an independent learner.

The course has given you an introduction to some of the factors that need to be considered when developing an exercise programme to improve aerobic fitness. The principles of training and FITT apply not on
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3.3.1 A conflict of interest

One of the difficulties of the involvement of drug companies in the mental health field is that it produces a conflict of interest. To put it crudely, drug companies rely on a continuing supply of patients to keep them in business. This is not always congruent with people's best interests, as you will see below. Although mental health services are intended to help people experiencing mental distress, they also have other driving forces. The market economy model of provision has encouraged the
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1.2.1 Boundaries and terminology

In another context Shakespeare asked, ‘What's in a name?’, and suggested by way of an answer that a rose may smell as sweet whatever it is called. In the context of social boundaries, however, the language used is actually very important in determining ‘who's in’ and ‘who's out’.

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1.1 Introduction

This extract looks at what we are calling ‘boundaries of explanation’. It tackles key issues such as:

  • What are mental health and distress – and who decides?

  • What are the views of people who have acquired a label of ‘mental illness’?

  • What are the views of those who determine – and patrol – the boundary between mental distress and ‘normality’?

The extract looks at language and terminology an
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2.12.2 Litigation

The level of litigation against CAM therapists is currently very low, particularly compared with corresponding actions being brought against doctors and other health care professionals. This, in turn, is reflected by the low annual indemnity insurance paid by most CAM practitioners. CAM therapists tend to attribute this to CAM's safety profile compared with orthodox medicine, together with CAM practitioners’ ability to forge better therapeutic relationships with users. However, other commen
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4.3 Indirect use of solar energy

The above examples illustrate the direct harnessing of the sun's radiant energy to produce heat and electricity. But the sun's energy can also be harnessed via other forms of energy that are indirect manifestations of its power. Principally, these are bioenergy and hydropower, already discussed in Section 3 above, together with wind energy and wave power.


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Acknowledgements

Cover image: CIAT in Flickr made available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions). Thi
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6.4.2 A broad view of technology

This dual nature is not because machines or chemicals are inherently good or bad; it arises from the way societies decide to use them (or not). This makes sense if you take a broad view of technology, outlined at the beginning of this Introduction. This is the understanding that technology, and it's uses from artefacts to infrastructure, is the product of human and social action. It is a major driver of the development of societies and their economies, but the forms and directions thes
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6.4.1 The dual nature of technology

Exercise 5

List the main advantages to you of using a refrigerator in your home, then list some of the potential environmental hazards that using a fridge might entail.


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6.4 Technology and environment

At the start of this course I asked a simple question: am I damaging the environment by using my fridge? I warned that it wasn't my intention to give a simple answer that we should all stop using refrigerators or all carry on regardless. Instead, we have explored the issue more widely, calling on a range of ideas and background information in the Case Studies. It is time to review some of the concepts we have been using.


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