Socio Economic Status And Health

1748 Words7 Pages
Introduction Social stratification is one of the tenets of sociological inquiry, and the association between socio-economic status and health could be viewed as a classical problem in medical sociology that dates back the mid-19th century works of Friedrich Engels, Rudolf Wirchow and Salvador Allende. These scholars writing during the early years of capitalism (Salvador Allende is an exception as to this trend as he studied the social origins of illness in the later times and a different geographical context) noted that the structures of oppression and features of urban life were major contributors to the spread of infectious diseases (Waitzkin 2005). Sensitivity to social origins of illness were pushed aside during much of the first half of the 20th century, which marked the hegemony of the biomedical models of disease etiology, yet the issue of socio-economic inequalities in health re-emerged in the 1960s after the publication of the Black Report in England and the book entitled “Differential Mortality in the United States: A Study in Socioeconomic Inequality” by Evelyn Kitagawa and Philip Hauser in the United States. The Black Report project was commission by the Labor government of the 1970s and its goal was to classify the British population into 6 social classes based on the occupation of the household head to in order to assess the evidence of inequalities in health. The results suggested that the risk of mortality in the lowest class was twice as high relative to the
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