Sociological knowledge assists understanding of how social issues impact on health and illness experiences in society (Barry & Yuill 2008, pp.5-10). In this context, sociological issues will refer to case study number one, about Ernie. By focussing on sociological imagination, this essay will illustrate how private troubles can be viewed as public issues. This will be followed by a discussion of structure and agency through a gender perspective as such an approach enhances our understanding of men and women's health. It will be argued that the application of sociological knowledge is a fundamental approach in nursing, essential if a more knowledgeable and competent profession is to be developed. First, however the case scenario will be briefly summarised.
Ernie is 59 year old man. He has developed emphysema. He might have no formal qualifications and has worked as a labourer on building and construction sites for most of his working life. The building industry is one that is especially sensitive to economic down turns. When the economic problems of 2009 began, building industry collapsed he was one of the first to become unemployed. Since then, he has had difficulty dealing with government bureaucracy to receive a disability support pension. Additionally, his wife, Gloria, has a physical job because she is also unskilled. Moreover, Ernie cannot cope with unemployment and poverty. As a consequence, he has indulged in some negative behaviour such as smoking and consuming alcohol. Finally, all these factors have led to domestic violence.
Firstly, sociological imagination is a sociological term defined as the ability to see private experiences and personal difficulties as entwined with the structural arrangements of a society and the times in which humans live (Andersen & Taylor 2005, p.5). The sociological imagination helps to develop an understanding and... [continues]
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