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Sociological Explanations For Inequalities in Health

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Introduction

Rebecca Evans Wednesday 30th December Sylvia Massey 2009 Sociological Perspectives for Health and Social Care: Assignment 2: Sociological Explanations For Inequalities in Health As part of this assignment I am going to design a poster describing the different concepts of ill health, these include; illness, disability, iatrogenesis, the sick role and the clinical ice-berg. I will then go on to compare patterns and trends of health and illness in three different social groups. By using sociological explanations for health inequalities, I will explain the patterns and trends of health and illness in three different social groups. Finally, I will evaluate the four sociological explanations for health inequalities in terms of explaining the patterns and trends of health and illness in three different social groups. Task 2 P5) * Compare patterns and trends of health and illness in three different social groups. As part of this task, the three social groups I have chosen to compare the patterns and trends of health and illness are:- 1. Social class and patterns of health and illness. 2. Gender and patterns of health and illness. 3. Ethnicity and patterns of health and illness. 1. Social class and patterns of health and illness "There is overwhelming evidence that standards of health, the incidence of ill health or morbidity and life expectancy vary according to social groups in our society especially to social class". (Stretch, B, 2007, Pg361). One reason for this is that the higher social class are able to afford private health care which ensures a more efficient referral to relevant health care. ...read more.

Middle

Health and care workers need to be aware of the cultural and religious beliefs of minority ethnic groups. Often care needs of these individuals are unlikely to be met leaving the individual vulnerable to higher levels of ill health and feelings of a lack of self-worth. After discussing the three social groups mentioned above and their impact of the patterns and trends of health and illness relating to them, comparison between all three social groups may show those most vulnerable to higher levels of ill health. Throughout all three social groups previously discussed, a common trend linking them to ill health is poverty, poor housing and unemployment. M3& D2) * Using sociological explanations for health inequalities, explain the patterns and trends of health and illness in three different social groups. * Evaluate the four sociological explanations for health inequalities in terms of explaining the patterns and trends of health and illness in three different social groups. As previously stated, the use of sociological explanations for health inequalities can be used to explain the patterns and trends of health and illness in the three different social groups discussed. Over the years, studies on the life of individuals show that health is dictated by social class and environmental factors. Similarly social selection is a factor affecting health. Older workers can be seen to suffer ill-health at a time when their social position in life is already established at this time. The importance of health education cannot be stressed enough in promoting lifestyle change and increasing social mobility at this time. ...read more.

Conclusion

Ethnical influences, combined with regional health issues can have an even more significant affect on the health of the second generation population. Younger Asians for example may adopt some lifestyle choices of their Western counterparts and begin to smoke and drink. Those living in the North of the country will be more likely to be influenced by local behaviour as it is a known fact that "Northerners drink more beer and eat fish and chips and do not take exercise in their leisure" (Edwina Curry when minister for health). Racism and discrimination amongst the ethnic minority can often lead to high levels of unemployment and therefore poorer housing overcrowding and serious health issues. As previously stated, workers often migrated to areas of the country offering better employment prospects at that time, such urbanisation of the ethnic minorities impacts the environmental and health issues of that area. There are often fewer doctors in inner city areas for example, as the areas are not attractive to work in, but many ethnic workers tend to migrate here. A lack of understanding and language differences amongst health care workers and ethnic minority individuals, coupled with lack of understanding of cultural differences has meant the health needs of the ethnic minorities have not been met. Such problems have been addressed in later years, however, with the introduction of translators, improved dietary facilities and indeed in certain inner city areas, an increase in NHS funding has meant centre of excellences have been formed offering up to date technology. Attracting leading professionals some of whom are those of ethnic backgrounds, which will go a long way to work toward the overall improvement in meeting the health needs of the ethnic minority. ...read more.

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