Socio-economic class or socio-economic status (SES) may refer to mixture of various factors such as poverty, occupation and environment. It is a way of measuring the standard and quality of life of individuals and families in society using social and economic factors that affect health and wellbeing ( Giddens and Sutton, 2013). Cockerham (2007 p75) argues: ‘Social class or socioeconomic status (SES) is the strongest predictor of health, disease causation and longevity in medical sociology.’ Research in the 1990s, (Drever and Whitehead, 1997) found out that people in higher SES are generally healthier, and live longer than those in lower SES.
There has always been a link between social class and health, even with the welfare state and the improvements made to health in all sections of societies over the years, a difference still remains in this area. This difference is applied to all aspects of health, which include life expectancy, general levels of health and infant mortality. Many people argue that as long as the quality of life is
These are a few potential links between social inequalities and the health of the population: income and wealth distribution, unemployment, the ageing society, gender and health, mental illness and suicide and disability and dysfunction. I am going to discuss each of these and see the health impact on people in each group.
First, there is Jim Taylor, Hospital CEO, District 16; second, Tondra Young, Clinical Lab Supervisor, District 24; lastly, Corey Anderson, Floor Technician, District 21. The population of each district decreases in average income, education level and life expectancy than its preceding district, beginning with district 16, Jim Taylor’s district. District 16 has an average combined household income of approximately $120,000/ annually. In this district, 65% of the population has a college degree and the life expectancy in this district is 82 years. Whereas, Tondra Young’s district, district 24, has an average combined household income of $70,000/annually and 15% of the population has a college degree. The life expectancy of district 24 is 75 years, that’s 7 years less than district 16. In district 21, Corey Anderson’s district, the average combined household income is less than $50,000/ annually and only 5% of the districts population have college degrees. Consequently, the life expectancy of district 21 is 70 years, 5 years less than district 24 and 12 years less than district 16 (Adelman 2008). The results of this study are indisputable: there is an obvious correlation between social/economic status and health status. As each districts average income and education level decrease, average life expectancy coincides. This leads to the next question: why does social and economic status so greatly influence health status?
There are considerable health inequalities amongst Britain’s social classes. Health is formed by socio-economic, political and environmental factors; these elements shape inequalities and influence the health of various social groups in Britain.
The Life at the Top in America Isn’t Just Better, It’s Longer news article assigned for this week’s critical writing caught me off guard. I was not expecting a narrative compilation of three individuals’ varying healthcare experiences. The article allowed me to reflect and contemplate the three very differing experiences. Each of these experiences was significantly dissimilar from one another due to each individual’s socioeconomic status. As we have learned and discussed in Chapter three of the text, socioeconomic status (or social class) is an individual’s or group’s standing within a ranked social structure. This socioeconomic status is typically determined by three main variables such as income, occupational prestige, and education. Different models of the social class ladder exist. The five-class model used in the United States is as follows: upper class, upper-middle class, lower-middle class, working class, and lower class. With this in mind and as previously mentioned in our text, “socioeconomic status or social class is the strongest and most consistent predictor of a person’s health and life expectancy across the life course.” In this response paper, I will deliberate and explain my thoughts on each individual’s experience.
This study revealed that the wealthy live longer due to better access to health services, and quality of care. The study pointed at a strong relationship between job grade of civil servant and death rates from a range of causes. Those in lower job grades had death rates thrice that of men in the higher grades.
The stresses of every day life for middle and low class citizens greatly contributes to their health issues. According to Williams and Rosenstock, “differences in income are associated with differences in occupations and work environments, potentially exacerbating the overall effect of income inequality on workers’ health” (2015:616). Basically, those who work in poor conditions and make a lower income, who are clearly unequal to the richer citizens who work under better conditions, are prone to greater health risks. This gap in health between unequal classes is not coincidental. In Williams and Rosenstock’s article, they state that one measure of income inequality is the pay gap between that of a production worker and a company’s CEO and
There are many different reasons why health inequalities exist due to many factors one extremely important one is social class. Socio-economic inequalities have been researched in the UK for many years. In the early 20th century the government started an occupational census which gave the researchers the opportunity to examine health outcomes of social class. The five class scheme was introduced in 1911 and a variation has been used since. In 2001 the National Statistics Socio Economic Classification replaced the older version. Social class is a name used to identify people who are similar in their income
For a variety of reasons, it is easier for the monied classes to access quality health care when needed and, in general, lead healthier lifestyles. People of higher socioeconomic groups have been shown to live longer (Scrambler, 2012). Beginning with higher infant mortality rates, lower socioeconomic groups often face a lifetime of challenges to good health and longevity.
Why are higher income and social status associated with better health? If it were just a matter of the poorest and lowest status groups having poor health, the explanation could be things like poor living conditions. But the effect occurs all across the socio-economic spectrum. Considerable research indicates that the degree of control people have over life circumstances,
The book says and it makes sense to an extent that people of lower social status have in general poorer health and higher mortality rate. Beyond that it makes a whole lot more sense that there are numerous and annoyingly complex factors that can lead up to the poorer health that relates to lower status. The book also talks about race, which really goes and links itself with the social status parts, since in America (which is what/where they mentioned) there is a moderate alignment of race to social status. Now when bringing up higher socioeconomic status that doesn't necessarily mean a person will live longer, regardless of race, but it certainly helps. Now to start the rant of the annoying and complex events that relate to social status. When
In general, individuals with higher socioeconomic status have better health, hence, lower mortality rate. “Individuals who occupy the lower ranks in the social and economic hierarchies… experience worse health status and higher levels of mortalities” (Palloni & Yonker, 2014, p. 15). Socioeconomic status encompasses the individual’s education, income and occupation. All of those factors can have an impact on an individual’s health. Families with higher income can provide greater quality food choices, have good healthcare, afford living in a safe
In addition, they endure more stressful family and work conditions which can lead to unhealthy lifestyle characteristics, such as excessive use of alcohol and may…(reword) poor nutrition” (19). In other words, the more prestige/power one has within society, the better their chances are of living longer. Scott’s article Life at the Top in America Isn’t Just Better, It’s Longer; provided many examples that showed the inequality between the classes. For example, Jean Miele’s case; he had a heart attack and because of his social class—and connections established through his status—he was surrounded by two knowledgeable colleagues that knew something was seriously wrong with Miele, therefore; immediately calling an ambulance. In addition, because of the neighborhood Miele was in during the heart attack he was given a choice of where we was to go to receive medical care; within minutes of arriving at the chosen hospital, he was in line for an angioplasty to unclog the affected artery. After the heart attach Miele entered a cardiac rehab which was covered through his insurance. As Scott showed in her article, Miele never once considered the amount this operation cost or the price for his cardiac rehab treatment.