Important Changes in the Political, Social and Economic Life in the UK

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Important Changes in the Political, Social and Economic Life in the UK There have been significant changes in political social and economic life in the UK over the last 50 years with particular reference to identity and the resulting ordering of our lives in terms of family, work and welfare together with the resulting impact on our health. Within the themes of structure and agency, uncertainty and diversity together with knowledge and knowing, this essay explores the consequences of some of these changes and how they may be beneficial for some and deletarious for others, depending upon which social category a person falls into. One of the consequences of these changes is that we now have…show more content…
(Woodward, 2004) The Government has recognised this trend and has targeted the public through consumerism which appeals to our new fixation with “buying” our identity in terms of encouragement of a healthy lifestyle through the media. (Hinchliffe, Woodward, 2004) Our knowledge about health has also changed - people are trying to find other ways of knowing about health and illness. In the 1950s experts were treated as providing infallible information. There is now increasing uncertainty brought about by our knowledge that experts are sometimes wrong, for example as in the recent case of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. (Goldblatt, 2004) However, diversity means that certain groups of people are enjoying much better health than others and that these health inequalities appear to be linked to larger socioeconomic patterns. There is a positive correlation between the two. The links between social class and health include other factors, such as gender and ethnicity. There is a clear and persistent social gradient in mortality rates at all ages and despite medical advances since the 1950s the differences in health chances by class are increasing. Supported by the 2001 Census (UK Census Preliminary Report 2003) there is a suggestion that disparity exists due to our

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