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
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 population of the poor in the United States represents roughly 15 percent of the total population (Macionis 2013:41). As of 2012, the poorest 20 percent of the United States only represents 3.8 percent of total income earned (Macionis 2013:35). People do not choose to be poor, and most of those who are impoverished try to overcome this challenge. However, there is a trend that is evident and is continuously noticed in society. Those who live in poverty experience worse health care, education, social status, and wages than the upper class. I believe socioeconomic status serves a large role in whether an individual is likely to experience poor health. Policies that increase unemployment insurance or allocate for equal distribution of wealth and opportunity are viable solutions to socioeconomic inequality (Babones 2010:141). The social conflict theory best explains the socioeconomic inequality in the United States and helps sociologists interpret how inequality causes increased health issues for the lower class.
According to Riegelman and Kirkwood (2015) there are many social determinants that influence our health. These may include, but are not limited to; income, educational level, culture, and professional status. All of these things can contribute to our health, because they are the things we are surrounded with: a way of life. Most of these determinants are structurally unequal. This means that a person doesn’t have a choice, but to be part of that determinant. We do not have the choice of being born into a rich or poor family, what culture we are raised in, and so on. These inequalities lead to heath disparities. Health disparities are the differences between groups’ health that are/ can be caused by structural inequalities (Disparities 2017). For example, Henrietta Lacks came from a poor family and her health was negatively affected by the social determinants that come along with that lifestyle. On the other hand, we could look at a rich family during that time and their health could have been positively affected. We will look at how different social determinants caused Henrietta Lacks to experience both structural inequalities and heath disparities.
Understanding social factors in health has become a central issue recently and a large number of studies has been dedicated in this regard. Social factors are phenomena seen in the interaction between individuals and social groups. In this essay, the importance of understanding such factors and their influence on health are addressed by studying socioeconomic status. Studies results are incorporated to explain health inequalities that arise from socioeconomic status and possible explanations including the material and structural, social selection, cultural and historical explanations cited in the literature are briefly discussed.
This essay will discuss ways in which a person’s socioeconomic class and his/her social situation can have an impact on his/her health, using examples. We believe that there is a direct link between socioeconomic/social class and health (Adler et al. 1994). I will be defining the key terms: socioeconomic and health, social class then proceed to discuss about how poverty, income, employability, environment and housing can impact on a person’s social situation and their health.
In the article, “Inequality, Wealth, and Health: Is Decreasing Income Inequality the Key to Create Healthier Societies?” published by Ioana Andreea Pop, Erik van Ingen, and Wim van Oorschot in 2013, conveys that reducing economic inequality will increase life expectancies and healthier lifestyles. The sociological theory that the article is using for its analysis is the social conflict theory because it emphasizes on society as an “arena of inequality that generates conflict and social change” (Macionis, Jansson, & Burkowicz, 2016, p.17). The article indicates that reduction in income inequality and the growth of societal affluence will improve health and well-being in lesser industrialized nations (Pop, Ingen, & Oorschot, 2013). In this paper,
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.
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.
In this task there will be a discussion on the impact of social inequalities in society. I will explain how the different social groups’ including religion, ethnicity, age and gender can benefit the society but also face difficulties in terms of health and well being.
Health inequalities are preventable and unjust differences in health status experienced by certain population groups. People in lower socio-economic groups are more likely to experience health inequalities than people in higher socio-economic classes. Health inequalities are not only found between people of different
This essay will be discussing the extent to which social class and poverty affects health and illness. Firstly, what is social class? Each person’s perception of social class can be different; is social class defined by a person’s accent, the area they live in, or something as simple as their income? Project Britain describes social class as “The grouping of people by occupations and lifestyle”. (Cress, 2014). To find social class Sociologists group people according to common factors, they compare people and various criteria can be conveniently used to place people in social groups or classes. Next we ask the question what determines a person’s health, the NHS defines health as “Physical and mental, it is the absence of disease”. (NHS 2017).