• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Evaluate different sociological explanations for patterns and trends of health and illness in two different social groups

Extracts from this document...


Evaluate different sociological explanations for patterns and trends of health and illness in two different social groups Chances of becoming ill and even dying are linked to several factors which include social class, gender, age and ethnicity. The two social groups I have chosen to compare are social class and gender. I will talk about how these social groups affect health issues and explain the sociological perspectives and the patterns and trends. Social class and patterns of health and illness Social class is the ranking of people based on their occupation, education, income and manners. It is said that the higher your social class, the healthier you are. Poverty and inequality in society have effects on the social, physical and mental well-being of an individual. These two factors are closely linked. The infant mortality rate - IMR - for children born to poor parents are higher than that of a child born to rich parents. People from a higher social class are much less likely to die of conditions such as cancer, heart diseases and strokes and also tend to live longer compared to others. The Black Report - which was introduced in 1980 - examined the health differences of people by dividing the population into five social classes and provides information on how social and environmental factors of health and illness and life expectancy are linked to one another. ...read more.


This is due to the lack of money and poor housing, unhealthy and dangerous working conditions, and living in a depressing and run down area. This approach is seeing the working class as victims of a society which is unfair and prejudiced. Being ill, for example, would not be their fault but would be the result of factors such as: - Low income: which can lead to a poor diet due to fresh food having higher prices than processed food; - Poor housing: which means they can suffer from conditions such as asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis due to damp and cold living conditions; - Poor working conditions: which means they are more likely to become injured in the workplace or in some cases result in death. Factories and building sites - where working class are more likely to work - are more dangerous workplaces compared to middle class work environments, for example schools and offices. Gender and patterns of health and illness In almost all countries, men have a shorter lifespan compared to women. It has been shown by research that females averagely live up to the age of 81while males up to 76. In general, the overall life expectancy for both genders continues to increase, like it has been doing for the past 30 years. ...read more.


Whereas men tend to suffer and die from heart disease till at least the age of 50. * The Artefact Explanation This explanation looks at the statistics which are constructed. Thus, due to the role women have in a family, they are more likely to be in contact with health services compared to men. However, this does not mean they are less healthy than men. * Behavioural or Cultural Explanation This explanation shows that men are likely to die earlier in general due to them being more involved in risk-taking behaviour which includes violence and are careless about their habits and diet. Men also tend to smoke and drink more alcohol than women. * Materialistic or Structural Explanation This view is more focused on structural factors which affect the health of both genders. It states that the differences in rates of mortality and morbidity in both genders are results of their different roles in society, their positions and experiences. For example, most women just accept the responsibility of having to look after the children and the health of the others in the family. A lot of feminist writers argue on the gender inequalities like poor pay and more exposure to poverty and poor housing - especially between single mothers. These are the materialistic issues, which are the focus of the feminist ideas. Men, however, work more in hazardous environments such as mining, construction industry, diving, military and factories which use heavy machinery. http://www.healthscotland.com/equalities/socialclass.aspx http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=1007 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Healthcare section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

A good piece of work looking at two factors affecting people's health.

The work would benefit from a clear definition of what is meant by social class and it needed an overall conclusion.Based on what has been presented, can one factor be ruled as more important than the other? Why? Are the factors closely linked?
The writing style was good overall, although there is some repetition regarding the activities men tend to engage in compared to women.

Marked by teacher Diane Apeah-Kubi 26/04/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Healthcare essays

  1. Diversity. There are many benefits of living in a diverse society and in this ...

    Most organisations include training on equal opportunities as part of their induction process. Having a diverse society enables you to have many different languages in the vicinity which means many different ethnic groups get the chance to mingle with out ethnic groups.

  2. Within this essay the author will explore the concepts / issues in the specific ...

    Accountability is the extent of the duty of care, which is provided by the ODP, and the degree to which an ODP can be called to account. In order to be held accountable for actions and decisions, the practitioner needs to be capable of discerning morally correct acts.

  1. Sociological explanations of health inequalities. The explanation I believe that is most useful is ...

    The strength of material/structural explanations is that the structural answers include vast number of people, which they also prevent solutions, amendment to health ailments that is the cause of illnesses and their objective is to eliminate circumstances such as deprived environments, poverty, and poor health by developing better lifestyle and increasing life expectancy for people.

  2. Sectors. The two job roles which I have chosen to evaluate are Childrens ...

    Editor had mentioned that the health service was receiving a total of �300m from the lottery New Opportunities Funds. This money was given to use on families and children who are terminally ill, suffering from cancer.

  1. Unit 21 Nutrition for Health and social care

    I feel though £3 is enough for a meal but on day when I don't have enough money I would just buy £1.50 chips obviously due to the grease and fat and my body does not get the nutrients it needs.

  2. Public Health: How are current patterns of ill health monitored? How have current patterns ...

    an idea of the numbers of people with cancer when we compare different areas. As is the case with every statistic of ill health cancer admission rates vary from place to place; the average amount of admissions to hospital in 2008 due to cancer in England was 1,326,050.

  1. For Early years and education A04 I am going to plan and carry out ...

    On the other hand, if the child does not follow instructions carefully then the cakes will not be made correctly and the activity may pose safety hazards if safety procedures are not followed carefully. A way in which I hope the child learns the consequences of following and not following

  2. Unit 21 Nutrition for health and social care

    The amount of calories you need depend on several factors that include: 1. Age 2. Sex 3. Your level of activity 4. Whether or not you are pregnant 5. If you have any chronic illnesses The following recommendations by the national academy of science are for the following categories: 1.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work