Outline and Explain the Inequalities in Health and Illness According to Social Class

Topics: Sociology, Social class, Social stratification Pages: 2 (631 words) Published: November 9, 2012
Outline and explain the inequalities in health and illness according to social class. This essay will explain the inequalities that occur in health and social care due to social class. It will show statistics of health and mortality rates and distinguish between different approaches to health. It will show factors that can influence an individuals health such as class, society and individual choice. Inequalities in health are a long standing and well recognised part of modern society. Within society the opportunity to live a healthy life free from illness is not evenly balanced between the classes.(Yuill,2010). To define what is meant by social class, Crompton (2008 ) page 95 said, “A social class is two or more orders of people who are ranked by society. Members of a class tend to marry within their own order, but the values of society permit them to marry up or down. A class system also provides that a child is born into the same class as their parents.” There are two main scales that define class in society. The National Statistics Socio-economic Classification Scale breaks society down into eight main classes. The Standard Occupational Classification (2000) breaks society into nine classes but has many subdivisions in between. To define what is meant by health varies widely between organisation’s but the most commonly used definition is one given by the World Health Organisation which says “ Health is a complete state of physical, mental and social wellbeing.”(Tulchinsky, 2009, page 47). Surrounding the issue of health there are two main ‘models’ which are used. The medical model is based around the absence of disease or disability. If an individual has no disease or disability they are thought of as being in good health. The medical model focuses on the treatment and cure of disease and not on the cause or prevention (Eldin, G,2000) . The social model, according to, Barkaway 2009, health is seen as partially attributed to the social circumstances of...
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