Explain the concept of an unequal society and its effects on health.

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P1 – Explain the concept of an unequal society.

Within most known societies there are certain things that make it unequal. This means that the society experiences troubles because some aspects of it are making it uneven due to views, beliefs and attitudes being expressed and conflicting. This could occur because people view themselves as a higher social class than others.

People who may be unlucky within societies could be the subject of prejudice. This is a term referring to a set of fixed attitudes towards a particular social or ethnic group. The people who project these views are usually unwilling to accept any different attitudes and cannot make sense of why this group of people are a particular way. For example a prejudice view would be that all Indian people living in the UK are here to take English peoples jobs and eat our food. This view would have been the norm for the person for so long that they cannot see how ignorant they were really being.

Prejudice is a concept closely related to that of stereotyping. Stereotyping is where groups of people get defined into one category as if they all share the same personal characteristics or features. However, this is a negative concept for everyone is different and has individual qualities. An example of this would be that everyone wearing a hooded top is a ‘chav’ and you should assume you are going to get robbed or beaten up when you come into contact with them. When there is a large group being stereotype it can also be said that the individual is labelling. This means that the stereo typical qualities are applied to this group, the individual differences are ignored and they are treated accordingly. When someone has a prejudice state of mind, this will lead to discrimination and people being discriminated against. This is where someone may express their views of a certain group (stereotype) by being verbally or even physically abusive to them. This could be because of the individual’s race, age, colour or gender. An example of this could be an 18 year old telling a 16 year old what to do and making fun of him, purely because of his age.

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When someone is being discriminated against, this can lead to them quickly feeling marginalised by society in general. This means they may have feelings of being ‘out on the edge’ or alone in relation to the rest of society because someone is discriminating against them. It will make them feel like they are not good enough to enjoy the status and ways of life enjoyed by others around them.

A term that is widely related to all of the above concepts (words in bold) is social exclusion. However it also caters to wider issues surrounding participation within society. The ...

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