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 Social Exclusion Unit explain social exclusion as follows –
‘Social exclusion is a short hand term for what can happen when people or areas suffer from a combination of linked problems such as unemployment, poor housing, high crime environments, bad health, poverty and family break downs.’
It is essentially when an individual or family feel that their economic, housing or living situations have gotten so dire that they feel excluded from society. An example of this could be a family having to live on the streets for a night because they couldn’t afford the rent, they then view the rest of their local community walk past them on the street without saying a word, concluding in them feeling disconnected.
P2 – describe the social inequalities that exist within society
Within today’s modern, industrialised society, there is overwhelming evidence that standards of health, the incidence of ill health or morbidity, and life expectancy, all vary by social groups and especially by social class. Those of a higher social class are deemed to live longer, enjoy better health and a higher quality of living than those in the lower classes. The Black Report (1980) and the Acheson Report (1998) are both influential studies that give detailed explanations for this fact.
There is also evidence to show that patterns of health and ill health vary in –
- Culture and Ethnicity
I will now explain the above social groups and the effect they can have on an individuals’ general health and living conditions.
Men have a shorter life expectancy than women. The UK’s life expectancy is currently at its highest it has ever been, women can expect to live to around 90 years, while men can expect to live to around 85. However, women have longer periods of ill health than men. This has been proved by the 2001 census showing that across the social groups, women are more likely than men to report themselves in a state of ‘ill health’. Quality of life for men and women will be equal as they both (should) be given the same opportunities to succeed throughout life.
Within the UK, people that are in the minority ethnic groups such as Pakistani, White Irish, or Chinese, have greater periods of illness and have a shorter life expectancy than the host population (White British). In the 2001 census Pakistani and Bangladeshi men and women in England and Wales reported the highest rates of ‘not good’ health. The reason for this may be suggested that these ethnic groups do not have the best living conditions due to not being given equal opportunities as the other UK citizens, leading to ill health.
When you are living with a disability, this will make it harder to stay in good health for it may be difficult to remain active, especially with physical conditions. This means that within the UK people who have disabilities will experience worse health than those without. The severity of their ill health will depend on the severity of the disability. Their living conditions can however often be good, especially if the person is wealthy. This will promote good health and well being and help the individual.
In 2003, a mental health charity called MIND published a report about gay, lesbian and bisexual people. The results showed that these people were in a higher level of psychological stress than heterosexual people. This could have been because of bullying from a young age or difficulty with self acceptance. More recent studies have shown that the UK lacks necessary knowledge about gay or lesbian mental health needs.
In terms of age, the majority of people will (obviously) be more prone to ill health as they approach old age, due to disability and diseases.
Considering all of the above, if a person is poor then this will make their level of health and well being a lot worse.