Sunday, February 26, 2012

Choices determined by Chances

Cockerham, W. C., Rütten, A., & Abel, T. (1997). CONCEPTUALIZING CONTEMPORARY HEALTH LIFESTYLES. Sociological Quarterly, 38(2), 321-342.

Older article - important words... all taken directly from the text as follows: 
 We would therefore suggest the following definition of health lifestyles: collective patterns
of health-related behavior based on choices from options available to people according to
their life chances. These life chances include age, gender, race, ethnicity, and other relevant
variables that impact on lifestyle choices. The behaviors generated from these choices can
have either positive or negative consequences on body and mind but nonetheless form an
overall pattern of health practices that constitute a lifestyle. We further suggest that this definition
provides an initial theoretical statement of a health lifestyle. It incorporates the interplay
of choice and chance along Weberian lines but omits the requirement that choices are voluntary. We would add that adoption of a health lifestyle gives the individual a strategy that serves as an anchor in coping with health risks in an evolving postmodem environment. Contrary to Weber, we assign priority to chance over choice, although choice remains a central factor in lifestyle selection. Bourdieu’s assertion that structure determines the perceptual
boundaries underlying choice is persuasive.
 Noting in my words, we do not have equal chances and therefore we do not have the same choices..

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