Social Inequalities in Health Care Essay

2624 Words Apr 24th, 2008 11 Pages
Social inequalities in contemporary society

Learning Outcomes: 1) Explore the nature of contemporary society 2) Analyse how social inequalities influence the life chances and health of individuals

To completely understand our changing society, we must look at the history of change we have gone through. To do this we must identify the changing factors of our society. This includes the age of our population; the roles gender has taken on, how race and ethnicity has affected our society, why and how social class works and the geographical location of people in Britain. In this report all these
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Being born into a certain social class may affect your health drastically, a child born in the lower end of the social systems is twice as likely to die in the first few months of their life than a child born in the professional class (6). (See appendix1.1) The well being of a child is also at risk when born lower down in the social scale, their vaccinations and dentist visits are limited. (See appendix1.2) K.Moser found that unemployment was a key factor in health issues in society, mortality rates were higher for those who were unemployed and the prospect of unemployment is detrimental to the health of an individual. M.H.Brenner (1977) suggested loss of a job is like bereavement but isn’t seen or respect as such (7). Inequalities in health still exist and are mainly blamed on the stratification system in the UK. The Black Report suggested there were 4 main reasons for this:
· The Artefact Explanation: the inequalities debate sees ill health as a biological entity, which differs between social classes.
· The Behavioural or Cultural Explanation: places emphasis on the individuals and the consequences of their behaviour, when they choose to eat, drink and live healthily the inequalities will be reduced.
· Health Selection Explanation: similar view to Darwinism, people with ill health will fall down the social scale.
· Structural or Materialist Explanation: sees factors outside the individuals control, position in society is
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