Public health sociology being a branch of sociology we need to understand how sociology is considered as a part of behavioral sciences.
First lets see what is behavioral science ;
The scientific study of behavior,facts,about the people what they do and what they should do is a behavioral science.
Sociology as a part of behavioral science
The meaning of sociology is ‘the science of society ‘.
Sociology is the social science which studies relationship between people as individuals and as groups and the influences of social conditions on these relationship.(Peil,1979).
Sociology is the study of human social relationships and institutions. Sociology’s subject matter is diverse, ranging from crime to religion, from the family to the state, from the divisions of race and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture, and from social stability to radical change in whole societies. Unifying the study of these diverse subjects of study is sociology’s purpose of understanding how human action and consciousness both shape and are shaped by surrounding cultural and social structures.
Sociology is an exciting and illuminating field of study that analyzes and explains important matters in our personal lives, our communities, and the world. At the personal level, sociology investigates the social causes and consequences of such things as romantic love, racial and gender identity, family conflict, deviant behavior, aging, and religious faith. At the societal level, sociology examines and explains matters like crime and law, poverty and wealth, prejudice and discrimination, schools and education, business firms, urban community, and social movements. At the global level, sociology studies such phenomena as population growth and migration, war and peace, and economic development.
Lets discuss about sociology being a science of society or how it qualifies itself to be a part of science .
Behavioral Science is a branch of science (such as psychology, sociology, or anthropology) that deals primarily with human action and often seeks to generalize about human behavior in society.
Behavioral science courses provide some knowledge that helps us to understand the human patterns in relation to health and illness.
Why health or illness is promoted or complicated by:
The type of food we eat
Why we accept or refuse family planning
Who determines when and where a sick person should seek medical help ( whether from hospital or traditional healer)
Study of public health sociology as a part of behavioral sciences
Many public health challenges – including preventable diseases, smoking, and mental ill-health – are more often behavioural and sociological than medical in nature. The reason behind this is that they often arise from behaviours that are underpinned by social and structural determinants.
For example, obesity and Type 2 diabetes often arise as a result of the poor diets that we have, which are influenced by the obesogenic environment that we live in. Although these behavioural and social factors are often the leading influences on our health outcomes, they attract only a fraction of the attention or resource that goes into clinical treatment.
In order to effectively prevent poor health, we need an approach that takes account of the whole person, social context, and wider aspects such as education, employment, social norms, and the built and online environment.
This would be a comprehensive systems approach that draws on multiple behavioural and social sciences, including psychology, behavioural economics, sociology and anthropology.
It aims to better enable the public health system to maximise the contribution of behavioural and social sciences to improving and protecting the public’s health and wellbeing, improve value to the public purse, and reduce health inequalities.
As a high-level guide, it provides a framework and brings together a suite of relevant resources from a range of disciplines in one place
In recent years, the contributions of behavioural and social sciences to improving the health of the public have gained more prominence.
However, they are still underutilised in practice and insufficiently integrated when applied to public health, and the workforce that is qualified to provide this behavioural and social science input remains small.
Areas in which we can apply sociology
- Body mind interactions
- Community behaviour
- Physician-patient/health service provider consumer role and behavior
- Doctor-patient/Service provider consumer interactions
- Social and cultural issues in health care
- Health policy and economics
In this way sociology is important in public health practice.
We might wonder how we can considered sociology as a part of behavioral science. There are lots of evidences which prove that sociology as a part of behavioural science .The paramount thing to understand is sociology is one of the branches of behavioral science.Sociology used different kinds of scientific method , so it is considered as branch of science and generally sociology deals with the study of behaviour of human is social setting .Thus sociology is considered as part of behavioral science.To brush up the idea sociology being part of behavioral science the following mentioned bullets might help;
Other examples that illustrates Public health sociology as a part of behavioral sciences;
- Sociology is a science that looks human behaviour in groups.Sociologists maintain objectivity, perspective and imagination,.
- Sociologists use scientific method to study politics, race,culture, socioeconomic issues ,
- All interacting with each other in social setting causing group behaviour,
- Sociology uses different questions of human behaviour. Example; Why health or illness is promoted or complicated by type of food we eat.
- Sociology helps to understand why people are refusing to use certain kinds of health facilities
- Sociology studies man as behaving individual
- Sociology studies nature and characteristics of individual in society
- Systematic analysis and investigation of human behaviour through the study of past,controlled and naturalistic observation
- Socioloogy analyses the influences of economic,politics,technological,cultural and other forces and factors on individuals and his life.
Adhikari is a founder of publichealthglobe.com and a public health enthusiast aiming to create an impact on the community all across the globe. A true believer of Prevention is better than cure.