Fundamental-Cause Theory

A theoretical perspective that argues that, in each time and place, those with greater access to resources will experience better health because they will be better able to use whatever resources are available to protect their health. gender The social categories of masculine and feminine and the social expectations of masculinity and femininity. gender convergence The ways in which men and women’s lives along with social expectations for how men and women should behave have become more similar over time. geneticization The shift toward increasingly defining genes as the cause of human disease, behavior, and differences. global health The idea that health and illness needs to be understood as a global process rather than something contained within individual nations. This includes recognizing the how international, national, and local organizations can affect health and how health and disease may have similar roots in social forces around the world. globalization The process through which ideas, resources, and persons increasingly operate within a worldwide rather than local framework. For example, the globalization of tourism means that U.S. tourists now consider Africa a plausible destination. Great Confinement The shift from the 1830s onward in both Europe and the United States toward confining mentally ill persons in large public institutions instead of in almshouses, small private “madhouses,” or family homes. habitual dispositions Routine, almost instinctual, attitudes regarding the merit of various behaviors that might harm or preserve health.

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