The Black Report

Topics: Social class, Working class, Sociology Pages: 4 (1277 words) Published: May 27, 2010
The Black Report

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. Health inequalities is the term used to describe the consistent recurring differences of the health complaints involving the social classes of Britain. These differences were first highlighted by Sir Douglas Black in a research study called The Black Report. The reason for The Black Report was to find information about the problems with health variations among the social classes. In 1977 under a Labour Government, the Secretary of State for social services developed The Working Group on Inequalities in Health; Sir Douglas Black was the chairman. The group were given the task of gathering information about health contrasts in society and to analyse lifestyles from all the social classes. In addition, any likely reasons had to be established and a course of action was to be drawn up ( Evidence was collected using quantitative data from sources such as the Official Register of Deaths and Births, doctor’s surgeries and hospital records. The official statistics were then used to determine the morbidity and Standardised Mortality Ratio (SMR) of the social classes. The Black Report established four possible explanations for health inequalities; Artefact, Cultural, Materialist and Social capital. The Artefact explanation measures the inequalities of health between the social classes and adopts the belief that there is a fake association between health and the social groups. This account suggests that the rise in health differences is superficial and deceptive. Shaw et al insinuated health complications were the consequences of lower class socio-economic difficulties (Holborn, Burrage and Langley, 2009) Also, Illsley (1987) implied that health...
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