What is social class? Any observer of American society would quickly note that there are large variations in wealth, material possessions, power and authority, and prestige in our society. They would also note differences in access to education, healthcare and leisure. One child in ten lives in poverty in major industrial countries, one in five in the United States.
Messenger The Conversation is running a series, Class in Australia, to identify, illuminate and debate its many manifestations. Here, Sharon Friel considers the points where class and health interact.
The unequal distribution of power, money and resources also creates health inequities. Australians who are socially disadvantaged by income, employment status, education and place of residence, and Indigenous Australians, also have a higher risk of chronic diseasessuch as diabetes, heart disease and cancers, and depression.
Differences in health outcomes at the population level are not explained by genetic variation or because of some mythical deviant behaviour particular to people in lower social class groups. These health differences are both avoidable and unfair.
Embracing complexity People need the basic material requisites for a decent life, they need to have control over their lives, and they need a voice in decision-making processes and implementation of policy and programs that affect them.
Economic and social policies generate and distribute political power, income, goods and services. And who you are will affect your access to quality and affordable education and health care, sufficient nutritious food, good work and leisure conditions, among other things.
Together these factors constitute what determines your health and social health inequities. But much of the responsibility of the social inequity that leads to different health outcomes lies elsewhere. Health is affected by policies in other sectors, such as education, taxation, transport, and agriculture too.
Education, for example, equips people with the resources needed throughout life to achieve a secure income, provide for family, and cope with disease. Children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to do poorly in school and drop out early.
They usually grow up to be adults with lower incomes and are less empowered to provide good health care, nutrition, and stimulation to their own children. This is how disadvantage is transmitted through generations. Decent work, including wages that reflect the real cost of living, is also important for health.
Work can provide financial security, social status, personal development, social relations and self-esteem, and protection from physical and psychosocial hazards. Inthe top 20 CEOs in Australia earned more than times the average wage.
Because we live in a rapidly globalising world, we now need to consider the effects of trade on lives and health as well. Australian data show adverse job conditions high job demands and complexity, low job control, job insecurity and unfair pay are worse for mental health than being unemployed.
Another is to recognise the numerous entry points and opportunities to improve health and quality of life. Clearly, reducing health inequities is not something that can be achieved overnight.
It requires a long-term view, and sustained political will. The intersectoral nature of the determinants of health inequities demands a holistic response. It requires ministers from all policy domains to each consider the impact of their decisions on the social well-being and health of all Australians.
The apparent focus on productivity at any cost, and the control of public discourse by a powerful business elite suggests we have a long way to go before we can create economic and social conditions that support all people to achieve their potential.
See the other articles in the series Class in Australia here.The Conversation is running a series, Class in Australia, to identify, illuminate and debate its many manifestations.
Here, Sharon Friel considers the points where class and health interact. The Impacts of Social Class. In the United States, a person’s social class has far-reaching consequences.
Social class refers to the the grouping of individuals in a stratified hierarchy based on wealth, income, education, occupation, and social network (though other factors are sometimes considered).
Discuss three factors. The concept of social class is a difficult one to come to terms with - Discuss the view that social class is no longer the most important source of an individual's identity Essay introduction.
This is reflected by the many disagreements (in society as well as Sociology) as to the significance of social class. At the other end of the social class spectrum, those going to school in the most deprived areas may suffer disruptions in school due to gang related violence.
All of this suggests that location, which is clearly part of your ‘home background’ in the broader sense of the word, is . Discuss the view that class is still the most important factor influencing the way people vote Words | 6 Pages.
view that class is still the most important factor influencing the way people vote Voting behaviour is the way in which the individuals of the electorate vote.
What is Social Class? In sociology, the term ‘social class’ is most often used to refer to the primary system of social stratification found in modern capitalist leslutinsduphoenix.com stratification refers to ‘the presence [in society] of distinct social groups which are ranked one above the other in terms of factors such as prestige and wealth’ (Haralambos and Holborn , p.1).