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social inequalities and health

Use different sociology perspectives to discuss patterns and trends of health and illness in two different social groups. (M2). The black report was published in 1980, and it included different facts about how health can be improved from all different backgrounds in different social groupings. There is still a co-relation between social class and infant mortality rates, life expectancy and inequalities in the use of medical services. This was such an important piece of research.

This report looked at the differences between health and illness. Sociologists from this very day still use the black report to look at inequalities of health because it was that significant and influential. It also focused on people’s lifestyles, environment and where they lived. There are four different explanations which are: * Statistical artefact * Natural or social * Cultural and behaviour * Material or structural Different researches do believe that there is a link between social class and also health.

It is a statistical illusion and also it has been argued that there isn’t really a pattern in social class, age and peoples employment that has had an impact on people’s health inequalities. Statistical artefact This is a relationship that shows how different systems have been used and measured. lower class have a much higher morbidity and mortality rates which are compared the higher class that only work in offices and call centres. Researchers have found that age and employment have to be taken into account because there is still a link that has been found that shows social class that have higher levels of mortality and morbidity rates.

Natural or social selection This explanation claims that class does not cause ill health but ill health can have an impact because of social class. People who are fit and healthy are more likely to become more successful in their life and can also go in to the higher class category. Social drift can happen when people have poor health and there is a decline in the socio-economic position. People who suffer with schizophrenia in different social class are compared to the general population.

The result of this is that there has been a trend for people who suffer with schizophrenia and can often drift into lower social classes. People who suffer with many health problems are most likely to change their hypothesis once their career choice has been made. Cultural/behaviour This has been suggested that people in different social classes have different healthy lifestyles. Smoke, drink and exercise are also included because it can vary in certain social classes. This is a result from our culture and behaviour choices in life.

People who are in the lower social classes are most likely to eat fatty foods, smoke, drink and rarely exercise less than people in the middle or upper class. Sometimes, lower class have a poor diet because they may not be able to afford fresh food, or don’t have the time to eat so they end up eating quick snacks or junk food to get them through the day. People in the higher class tend to eat healthier food and can afford to eat fruit and vegetables every day. 40% males and 32% females from the lower social class smoke.

On the other hand, only 12% males and females who are in the higher social class smoke. Mainly middle class people are more likely to exercise and have a positive attitude towards their fitness levels, compared to the working class. The working class may class their job as their ‘fitness levels’ because of the amount of exercise they do at work eg: DIY work. Alcohol is linked to mainly the lower class backgrounds who consume a lot more alcohol than any other social class. Material/structural This explanation talks about the inequalities of wealth income.

They blame poverty, poor housing conditions, lack of resources and educational provision as well as higher risk occupations for the poor health of the lower social classes. Poverty is a prime example of demonstrably bad heath. The effect of this is that there is a poor infant mortality rate and a shorter life expectancy. Poverty and bad living conditions can be linked in with poor diet, exercise, smoking and alcohol and also it can affect poor environmental factors. Whilst Life expectancy is lower, countries are less developed and this can result to diseases becoming more prevalent in the richer West.

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