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Social Class

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Introduction

Keelie Hay Social Class Many sociologists have proved that illness and ill health is related to social class. This is defining between the rich and the poor. However Social Class is very difficult to measure because it is difficult to define Social Class. Social class is difficult to measure because as some class registers don't look at women's occupation The type of worker today sees work as a means to an end, meaning people only do their job to earn money. Nowadays workers aren't as hostile towards capitalism, now we see capitalism as raising living standards. Now workers identify themselves through their family and standard of living, whereas before it was through their work. This was shown from researcher (Davey Smith et al, 1990). When he discovered that routine clerical workers are much more likely to die younger than other workers are. Smith compared the lowest and higher classes, found people in the lower classes were three times more likely to die before the age of 65 than those in the higher classes. The underclass, to some researchers such as (Sanders 1990) thinks that the excuse for the underclass is that they are work shy. Another researcher (Jordan, 1992) had a different criticism to the one from Sanders he suggests that not everyone who is poor is work shy this is related to illness because most people in the under class cant afford to go to the doctors and get treatment for their illnesses. ...read more.

Middle

It then reached almost three times as high by the 1990's. The women in social class I can expect to live six years longer than those in social class V whilst the men in social class I can expect to live for almost nine years longer than men from social class V. The Black report published in the 1980s showed that there was a pattern to the wealth and health experienced by the different social classes. Based on occupation the report showed health inequality, and suggested that professionals do far better than managers do, and managers do far better than skilled workers and so on down the line. Reported illness is at the top of the iceberg. However there are also theories that try explaining the results of the Black report, suggesting that the system of health care is not such an important factor as other life circumstances that affect the health of different classes. The artefact theory suggests that the use of surveys for statistics is inaccurate because it fails to take into consideration the clinical iceberg where it is unknown how many people suffer illness, as they don't always report it. Also most health care happens in the home usually women treating symptoms by self-care, in the case of postal surveys not everyone will respond and women often fill in forms for other family members. ...read more.

Conclusion

This diminishes hope and limits choices causing a threat to health. The lower classes also have the worst facilities of health care. Doctors and specialists who are able to choose the areas they work will more often choose middle-class areas where they will have the advantage of better staff and equipment. Hillary Graham's work on women and smoking suggested that smoking might help women in poverty to cope because it is a method of relaxation, her way of having a break from the main interaction with small children. This is a criticism of social class. Our ideas in society tend to construct gender differences in health problems. There appears to be some evidence that men take more risks than women such as dangerous sports and violent activities and hazardous occupations. Also women tend to consult doctors more often but yet statistics suggest women have more ill health, but this could be because women in their socially produced gender roles are seen as more acceptable to show weakness and seek medical help. Women's lives are more often medicalised than men, in childbirth, reproduction and mental health women are more likely to be given prescriptions for anti-depressants or tranquillisers, men however are more likely to have alcohol related problems, a more socially acceptable response to stress than it is for women. Peter Sedgwick found that: "About 10% of all GPs prescriptions and 20% of annual expenditure goes on tranquillisers, anti- depressants or hypnotic drugs, mainly for women" ...read more.

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