The purpose of this assignment is to apply concepts and ideas from the course to examples outside of class, which helps develop your sociological perspective! For this assignment, you will examine a TV show or film with by relating concepts from our class.
What to do:
First, choose a TV show or film that you would like to analyze. In the past, I’ve had students analyze public portrayals of autistic people through the TV shows Atypical and The Good Doctor, Deafness through the TV show Switched at Birth, blindness through TV show In the Dark, dissociative identity disorder in the films Psycho and Split, mental illness in the movie Joker, and the ableism present in the children’s TV show Adventuretime. You have a lot of leeway in what you choose to write about. My only request is that you select something that you can apply a sociological perspective of health, illness, and medicine too.
Watch your selected film or show and take notes on what you find sociologically interesting. How do they portray health, illness, or disability? Do these portrayals reflect or challenge medical models? How so?
For the write up:
Give me a brief introduction paragraph. What TV show or film did you watch? What was it about? What concepts will you be talking about in relation to the film or show?
Following this, you will relate the facts and ideas from the podcast episode to four (4) major concepts from Weitz’ textbook. This might include concepts like social constructionism, stigma, medicine as social control, medicalization, the sick role, race, class, gender, sexuality, among others. For each term/concept from the text, you will provide a definition. Then, you will discuss how this term/concept relates to the film or show. You will do this for each of the 4 concepts you choose. I recommend having separate paragraphs for each concept, so your ideas are clearly presented.
You should also end the paper with a conclusion that discusses why this matters practically. So for example, if you wrote about how your selected film reinforces the image of “the sick role,” you could discuss what this means for ill individuals and the power of the medical institution (What are the benefits to this? What are the potential negative consequences of this model?) Think critically about not only the topic, but health and illness more broadly. This should be a time to explore your ideas!
Papers should be a minimum of 800 words, double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 point font, one (1) inch margins, and have page numbers. Good titles enhance the reader’s experience, so make an effort to think of an interesting one (have fun with it!). I was lenient with titles for mid-terms, but I will take off points this time if you don’t put in the effort to come up with a unique title.
This is worth 100 points total. Please check rubric on exactly how points are distributed (this will tell you exactly how to do well on the paper!)
Expert Solution Preview
For this assignment, students are required to choose a TV show or film and analyze it from a sociological perspective of health, illness, and medicine. The purpose of this assignment is to apply the concepts and ideas learned in class to real-world examples, helping students develop their sociological perspective. The chosen TV show or film should reflect portrayals of health, illness, or disability and either reinforce or challenge the medical models.
For this assignment, I would suggest analyzing the TV show “Grey’s Anatomy.” “Grey’s Anatomy” is a medical drama that follows the lives of surgical interns, residents, and attendings at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. The show explores various medical cases, ethical dilemmas, and personal relationships within the hospital setting.
In relation to the show, several concepts can be discussed. The first concept is medicalization, which refers to the process by which human conditions and behaviors are defined and treated as medical issues. In “Grey’s Anatomy,” medicalization is evident through the portrayal of various medical conditions and the emphasis on medical interventions as the primary solution.
The second concept is the social construction of illness. The show reflects how the perception and understanding of illness are influenced by societal norms and values. It explores how certain illnesses are stigmatized while others may receive more attention and resources based on social factors.
The third concept is the sick role, which describes the rights and responsibilities of individuals who are considered to be sick. “Grey’s Anatomy” exemplifies the sick role by illustrating the expectations placed on patients and the role of medical professionals in providing care and treatment.
The fourth concept is the intersectionality of health, which involves understanding how race, class, gender, and sexuality influence health outcomes and access to healthcare. “Grey’s Anatomy” addresses these intersections by portraying the experiences of diverse characters and exploring the challenges they face in navigating the healthcare system.
In conclusion, analyzing “Grey’s Anatomy” from a sociological perspective provides opportunities to discuss concepts such as medicalization, the social construction of illness, the sick role, and intersectionality of health. Understanding how these concepts are reflected in the show helps us critically examine societal perspectives on health, illness, and medicine. It also raises important practical considerations regarding the impact of these portrayals on individuals and the power dynamics within the medical institution.