Inequalities in health and illness

Topics: Social class, Sociology, United States Pages: 4 (1511 words) Published: December 28, 2013
Explain patterned inequalities in health and illness. Evaluate sources of evidence with regards to class, gender, ethnicity and age

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 and occupation. Depending on what group you belong to will have an impact on your health and life span. It could be argued that this is not an effective way of researching as people flow in and out of social classes throughout their life.

Social Class is linked to health because of four different reasons highlighted in the Black Report, The artifact approach is where the data between the higher and lower classes is not accurate enough, it’s a result of the way the data is source and collected. The social selection explanation is when people who are fitter and in better health have a better chance of being employed in better jobs. In comparison to people in lower social groups according to this theory will suffer more ill health and premature death because they are naturally less healthy and fit. Cultural explanations is when lifestyle choices are made regarding diet, smoking, exercise have an impact and make people less healthy than others in the higher social groups. People from the lower class occupations work in more manual situations than the upper class occupations. This can have a bad effect on the manual workers health as they are exposed to lifting and harmful environments. Upper class...
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