Examining The Social Change Philosophy Essay

944 words - 4 pages

It is common that throughout the course of our existence the very ideas and beliefs that make up our daily activities change. These changes occur in large part due to our experiences in everyday life, primarily those experiences involving interactions with other individuals and our increased knowledge through study. As events and daily interactions begin to challenge our preconceived notions, we begin to shift our way of thinking, thus altering our mission and philosophical outlook on life. Throughout these experiences, however, we mature and begin to realize the importance of adopting health behaviors which correspond with research-based factual evidence, as well as policies and laws. For this reason, I firmly believe the social change philosophy informs my way of thinking.
The philosophy that is most parallel with my personal views of health education is the social change philosophy. While examining the uses and goals of the five predominant health philosophies, I noticed a majority of their disciplines revolved around changing a patient or student’s behavior or outlook of a particular health action. Although these approaches of health enhancing behaviors may work in simplified or less addictive cases, I firmly believe that most individuals will not be able to or willing to stop a particular behavior unless social, economic, and political laws are enacted. For example, even with a continuous thread of factual information and content based solely on the health hazards of smoking, such as with the cognitive based philosophy, an individual may still find it difficult or nearly impossible to break their smoking habit. Furthermore, an individual who smokes may make personal goals or behavioral contracts for themselves in the hopes to quit smoking. However, without the appropriate motivation or guidance, individuals can relapse or simply remain smokers due to the difficulty they experienced in their previous attempts to quit.
I believe the social change philosophy is the most appropriate when limiting or eliminating hazardous health behaviors. In continuing with the smoking illustration, it has been noted that after achieving successes in securing state and local restrictions on smoking in public places and restricting youth access to tobacco products, the number of smoke related deaths and illnesses have sharply diminished (Maugh II, 2009, para. 2). According to the Los Angeles Times, nearly 440,000 Americans die each year from smoking-related illnesses, with about 38,000 of those deaths related to secondhand smoke (Maugh II, 2009, para. 3). These statistics are based on the scientific evidence gathered prior to the enactment of smoking laws. According to no-smoking.org (2004), however, a simulation showed that a national smoke-free workplace policy would cause 1.3 million smokers to quit. Those who continued to smoke would average 1.3 fewer cigarettes per day, adding up to 401 million fewer packs nationwide per year. Among those currently...

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