Interpretivism is an approach to social science in which social reality is understood as being constructed and negotiated by participants in that particular reality through the process of meaning-making (McLuhan, 2016). Relativism is a conceptual feature of interpretivism in which reality is analyzed and interpreted through a specific lense. In situational relativism, what is perceived as normal varies across situations (McLuhan, 2016). Picard’s article will be used to exemplify the concept of situational relativism.
In an article for The Globe and Mail, Andre Picard (2016) writes that opioid overuse is the “worst man-made epidemic in modern medical history” (p. 1). According to last year’s statistics compiled by IMS Brogan for The Globe, doctors prescribed 53 opioid prescriptions for every 100 people in Canada. This may have contributed to an estimation of 2,000 opioid-related deaths in Canada and 14,000 deaths in the United States.
The assumption is that people with addictions are introduced to opioids on the streets. However, it has been found that people are being introduced to these drugs medically by doctors. It is an interesting but abnormal situation that illustrates the concept of situational relativism. Medical practitioners are trained and qualified to diagnose patients. Doctors are expected to be able to recommend appropriate treatments to help people recover and feel better. This expectation is echoed by Dr. Heidi Oetter, “You are the prescriber, you have to be responsible” (Picard, 2016). Nonetheless, it seems less stigmatizing for folks to die by opioid overdose when the drug is prescribed by a doctor. The blame is shifted on the negligent doctor who failed to respond to people with drug-seeking behaviour. Reacti...
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...n.The increased financial-related stress on families presumes that folks are using substance abuse as a way of coping with stress. The story also demonstrates the concept of age-related relativism because Ramsay addresses the prevalence of mental health and addiction-related issues among children who are 18 years old and younger. Children are at an impressionable age. In response to mental health issues, Mark Snaterse, the executive director at Alberta House Services (AHS) of addiction and mental health, is working to tailor a treatment program towards school-age children (Ramsay, 2016). AHS is working with school and other community partners to bring awareness of the importance of children’s mental health and wellness at an earlier ages (Ramsay, 2016). As a result, AHS is looking to open a new children’s mental health clinic within the next month to meet demands.
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