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SH4003 Culture, Society And Ethics For Sociological Conceptual Framework

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  • Course Code: SH4003
  • University: Southern New Hampshire University
  • Country: United States


1. Write a brief description of the case under discussion giving an outline of the main issues involved.  Always assume that your reader knows nothing of the assignment task and provide enough information to give a context for your discussion of the issues. 

2. Discuss the issues raised one by one, using information gained from your research of the academic literature. Your discussion may include:
a) an outline of the issue and its implications for or relationship to different  stakeholders
b) how that issue links to theories or research in the academic literature suggested solutions or ideas
c) evaluation of the solutions or ideas for this particular case



The term “Society”, in the sociological conceptual framework, in general refers to a group of people who interact with each other under a common cultural framework, with the cultural bond being on the basis of gender, race, religious beliefs or the personal and professional activities. However, over time, with the global scenario getting more inclusive and with phenomena like that of Globalization and technological innovations, the societies are getting globally integrated (Urry 2012). In the contemporary period, societies are multidimensional, showing traits of presence of population having different origin, ethnicities, religious beliefs and other inherent characteristics.

Given the increasing rate of acculturation and integration in the societies, it becomes crucial for each of the residents of the societies to become more liberal and accepting towards the diversities in the population characteristics and to have a more humane and unbiased approach towards all the members of the society, irrespective of their characteristic differences. This in turn indicates towards the emergence of the importance of ethics in the societal framework, which plays crucial role in shaping up the behaviors of the  members of a society, by making them more humane and inclusive (Johnstone 2015).

However, in spite of the continuous increase in the importance of the presence of ethical approach and unbiased behavior of the members of the societies in the contemporary scenario, attributed to the continuous dynamics in the demographics and other integrating features of the new age multi-cultural societies, there still remains several problem areas. One of the primary problems which the contemporary societies face is the problem of discrimination on the basis of inherent individual characteristics like gender, race, ethnicities, religious beliefs and others, which are present in all the strata of the societies, varying in intensities and magnitudes (Zarsky 2014). Keeping this into account the concerned report tries to take into account a case of discrimination happening in one particular aspect of the concerned society and tries to study the phenomena happening in the concerned case in the light of the relevant theoretical framework. In the latter sections the report also tries to recommend ways in which the concerned problem, portrayed in the case study, can be dealt with.  


Case Study: Description 

Taking into consideration the aspects of discrimination which usually occurs in the contemporary societal structure, this section of the project takes into account one such incident occurring in one such society. The concerned case highlights the operational framework of a community health care centre working on the arena of awareness generation regarding breast cancer and regarding the screening of the same, which is facilitated by the mentioned health care centre. The centre, in this aspect engages in generating awareness by producing and distributing leaflets containing the necessary information to the residents of the community concerned. However, the main problem in this operation of the community health centre is that the leaflets which are distributed are in English, while most of the residents of the community where the centre is operating do not have English as their first language.

Given the lack of knowledge of English among the residents, the informative leaflets distributed among them by the health care centre, in spite of being crucial, have little positive implications in the aspect of awareness generation among the residents regarding the problem of breast cancer and the facilities of screening which they can avail (Betancourt et al. 2016). However, this crucial problem of language barrier could have been removed to a considerable extent by translating the contents of the leaflets in regional languages and also by usage of audio visual versions of the same, which could have helped to a considerable extent in spreading the information among the targeted residents, thereby fulfilling the objectives of the community health care centre and also increasing the overall welfare of the targeted residents of the community.

The problem lies with the inefficient and biased attitude of the manager of the health care centre who remains adamant in spreading the information in English only, rejecting the ideas of using the regional languages or audio-visual versions of the leaflets for the purpose of spreading awareness to the concerned population. The manager, by remaining adamant in not incorporating these measures, makes the initiative of the community health centre less effective in their vision of spreading awareness regarding breast cancer and in their objective of providing facilities of screening to the people, as not many people is expected to read and understand the contents of the English leaflets and avail their services (Devine et al. 2012).

The problem discussed above, raises several issues of concern related to society, ethics and cultural aspects. The first problem is that of the presence of discriminatory mentality of the manager, with respect to the race, cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the people whom his community health centre is catering to (Shavers et al. 2012). This in turn indicates towards the bigger problem which is often common in many societies- the problem of racial discrimination in the aspect of provision of different services, here, the case being that of racial discrimination in the provision of necessary health care and awareness generation in this aspect. The issues are discussed in the following section, with the help of literary evidences and relevant theoretical frameworks present in these aspects. 


Discussion of the concerned case 

As discussed above, the concerned case studied in this report can be categorized as a case of racial discrimination which is occurring in the aspect of provision of necessary health related information and also in the aspect of knowledge regarding the relevant health care services which the residents of the concerned community are entitled to. The term “Racial Discrimination in provision of services”, in its broad sense refer to the biased behavior of the service provider in providing the services, where the provider decides about the extent and quality of services he or she wants to provide depending upon the racial grounds of the receiver (Burt, Simons and Gibbons 2012). This type of discrimination often takes place in the forms of deliberate provision of poor quality services, or by the provision of services in worse manner than what is normal. By “Racial Grounds”, discrimination on the basis of race, nationality, culture, linguistic differences and ethnicities is meant.

Discrimination is itself considered as one of the most serious form of social breach of ethical conduct in any sphere of human life, be it deliberate or unintentional. However, it becomes a more serious social issue if the services concerned are in the arena of health care or awareness generation regarding health hazards or diseases and their remedies (Katz and Taylor 2013). This is due to the fact that much of the welfare of the population concerned, both in the short run as well as in the long run, depends on how widespread and efficient the information dissemination is and how many people are actually positively affected by the same. Racial discriminations in these fields are expected to have considerable negative implications on the welfare of the society as a whole (Williams and Mohammed 2013).

Social Categorization 

The problem stated above and the behavior of the manager of the concerned community health care centre can be explained with the help of the theoretical framework of social categorization. The concept of social categorization comes from the notion of community building tendencies among people with the objective of living together and not as different individuals. People in general tend to socially categorize in terms of common characteristics based on their culture, ethnicity and racial attributes (Bodenhausen, Kang and Peery 2012). However, this social categorization often has positive as well as negative implications on people. On one hand while the sense of belonging to a society increases the self esteem and feeling of community among individuals, however, on the other hand, there also remains several dangers of strict social categorizations, which makes a group of people feel more similar to each other and different from other categories, thereby causing an inherent bias in their thought process (Rhodes 2013).  

This is the case which can be seen to be happening with the manager of the health care centre, who is found to be biased towards his culture and his preference of English language. This biasness is so striking that he even dismisses the idea of transferring the crucial breast cancer related information in any other language or by audio visual mediums, in spite of knowing that by doing so he is actually jeopardizing the welfare of many people in the long run (, 2018). Thus, the people without the knowledge of English is treated by the manager as social “Out-groups” and are thus excluded deliberately by the same from availing the facilities provided by the community health care centre. 


Social Identity Theory 

The behavior of the manager of the concerned health care centre can also be analyzed in the light of the Social Identity Theory as proposed by Tajfel. According to the theory, due to the long term membership of any social group, the members often inherit the characteristic features of the same, which after a point of time becomes like norms and standards to them. This in turn, often reflects in their intentional or unintentional behavior of discarding the thoughts, beliefs and needs of other social groups by perceiving them to be inferior than the standards which they follow (Jenkins 2014). In this instance also, the manager of the concerned community health centre is seen to discard the importance of the dissemination of information among the people who do not have the ability to read English.

Discrimination in the concerned case 

From the above discussion it can be asserted that there remains several aspects of social categorization and the feeling of superior social identity in the behavioral attitudes of the manager of the concerned community health centre, which in turn leads to his unjustified actions of discriminating among the receivers of the services and information provided by his community health centre (Viruell-Fuentes, Miranda and Abdulrahim 2012).

Discriminations in the aspect of provision of health and social care can be classified into the following types:

  1. a) Direct discrimination-This is the most common form of discrimination where few people are less favorably treated than the others by the concerned personnel based on their personal inherent characteristics.
  2. b) Indirect discrimination-This type of discrimination often takes place unintentionally, where under the presence of a hypothetically equal framework also, several sectors remain comparatively disadvantaged (Delgado and Stefancic 2017).
  3. c) Associative discrimination-In this type, some people are often less favored not because of their own inherent characteristics but because of the fact that they are associated with people having those inherent racial, ethnical or cultural features.
  4. d) Perceptive discrimination-When a person discriminates in his or her provision of service based on personal perceptions of presence or absence of several traits in some of the individuals he or she is catering to, then it is known to be perceptive discrimination (Giamo, Schmitt and Outten 2012).

In the concerned case, the behavior of the manager shows the traits of both direct as well as perceptive discrimination, thereby making the incident a social issue of ethical concern. 


Potential Solutions 

The problem of lack of English reading ability being the primary hurdle and point of discrimination among the concerned population in the case studied in this report, the problem can be rules out in several ways which are discussed as follows:

  1. a) Primarily, the manager of the community health care centre has to be free from all his personal biases and discriminating attitudes in the aspect of provision of the above mentioned services to the targeted community.
  2. b) The problem of barriers to communication is a serious affair especially when it comes to the aspects of health care or other social care aspects. Taking this into consideration, in the concerned case, one of the possible solutions is to have trained interpreters, with efficiency in speaking both English as well as the community language, who can act as the bridge to decrease the communication barrier existing in this scenario.
  3. c) The staffs of the community health care centre and other workers also have to be trained about the ways in accessing the interpretation services.
  4. d) The information can also be disseminated among the targeted population, using communal languages and audio visual versions, which can help in the provision of the information and services to those people who do not have the capability to read informative templates.
  5. e) The leaflets and the posters of the organization used for the purpose of passing the crucial information can also have the characteristics of population diversities, which may help in making all the members of the society, realize that the services and information are for all.


From the above discussion, it can be concluded that the case studied in the report deals with the problems which arise when there occurs racial discrimination in provision of health care or information regarding the well being of individuals. Personal biases can occur from the notion of strict social identity or social categorization of oneself and others, which in turn often makes an individual to behave irrationally, intentionally or unintentionally discriminating some people from others. This problem, being present in the behaviors of the manager in the concerned community health centre, is found to be creating problems in the aspect of efficient awareness generation regarding breast cancer and the facilities which the targeted population of the community are entitled to receive from the community health care centre. The problem can however be ruled out by implementations of the solutions like translated leaflets, audio visual mediums, employment of interpreters and trained staffs, as has been discussed in the above section of the report.  



Betancourt, J.R., Green, A.R., Carrillo, J.E. and Owusu Ananeh-Firempong, I.I., 2016. Defining cultural competence: a practical framework for addressing racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care. Public health reports.

Bodenhausen, G.V., Kang, S.K. and Peery, D., 2012. Social categorization and the perception of social groups. The Sage handbook of social cognition, pp.318-336.

Burt, C.H., Simons, R.L. and Gibbons, F.X., 2012. Racial discrimination, ethnic-racial socialization, and crime: A micro-sociological model of risk and resilience. American sociological review, 77(4), pp.648-677.

Delgado, R. and Stefancic, J., 2017. Critical race theory: An introduction. NYU Press.

Devine, P.G., Forscher, P.S., Austin, A.J. and Cox, W.T., 2012. Long-term reduction in implicit race bias: A prejudice habit-breaking intervention. Journal of experimental social psychology, 48(6), pp.1267-1278. (2018). Race Equality in Health and Social Care. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Mar. 2018].

Giamo, L.S., Schmitt, M.T. and Outten, H.R., 2012. Perceived discrimination, group identification, and life satisfaction among multiracial people: A test of the rejection-identification model. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 18(4), p.319.

Jenkins, R., 2014. Social identity. Routledge.

Johnstone, R.L., 2015. Religion in society: A sociology of religion. Routledge.

Katz, P.A. and Taylor, D.A. eds., 2013. Eliminating racism: Profiles in controversy. Springer Science & Business Media.

Rhodes, M., 2013. How two intuitive theories shape the development of social categorization. Child Development Perspectives, 7(1), pp.12-16.

Shavers, V.L., Fagan, P., Jones, D., Klein, W.M., Boyington, J., Moten, C. and Rorie, E., 2012. The state of research on racial/ethnic discrimination in the receipt of health care. American Journal of Public Health, 102(5), pp.953-966.

Urry, J., 2012. Sociology beyond societies: Mobilities for the twenty-first century. Routledge.

Viruell-Fuentes, E.A., Miranda, P.Y. and Abdulrahim, S., 2012. More than culture: structural racism, intersectionality theory, and immigrant health. Social science & medicine, 75(12), pp.2099-2106.

Williams, D.R. and Mohammed, S.A., 2013. Racism and health I: Pathways and scientific evidence. American Behavioral Scientist, 57(8), pp.1152-1173.

Zarsky, T.Z., 2014. Understanding discrimination in the scored society. Wash. L. Rev., 89, p.1375.

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