M2: use the different sociological perspectives to discuss patterns and trends of health in two different social groups.
The following assignment will discuss the different sociological explanations in relation to the patterns and trends of health and illness in the different social groups. The association between class and health in the society presents a great dilemma for sociologists. The black report outlined four different explanations to explain this relationship:
* The Artefact approach
* Natural and Social approach
* Cultural Explanation
* Structural Explanation.
The first explanation, the artefact approach has the vision that both class and health ...view middle of the document...
The natural and social perspective is based on evolutionary ideas. It believes that individuals are living in these social classes due to their ill health and lack of energy (Stretch, 2007). It believes that those who are in better health are more likely to obtain better jobs. One statistic, from the National Birth Register of 1946, showed that males, who had serious illnesses in their childhood, were more likely to drift into the lower social class. It believes that individuals in the lower social classes have low status jobs and are more likely to suffer from illnesses. It also believes that there are higher rates of early death in these classes due to them being less healthy.
The third explanation, the cultural explanation, argues that the differences in social class are the causes of the variation in health status in society. It is presumed that the ways in which people live are varied between these different social classes. People in the lower social classes indulge in more unhealthy behaviours; examples of these include smoking, drinking or eating fattier and junk foods. This approach sees these lifestyle factors as being in the control of the individual, with it being up to the individual to alter their behaviour and lead a healthier lifestyle. It is suggested in this approach that the inequalities which are present in social classes are due to the individual’s behaviours and their failure to look after their health. It can also be said that these behaviours are rooted in the personal circumstances of individuals. This approach also believes that these lifestyle choices then contribute to the issues which are present with health. It is said that the working class are more likely to approach fast food which is unhealthy. Poor white families live on "pizza, chips and takeaways", putting them at the greatest risk of becoming overweight and suffering health problems. By contrast, pupils in ethnically diverse areas eat an "incredibly rich array" of foods, including exotic fruits. The figures from the Health & Social Care Information Centre show that 25% of children in poorer areas are obese, compared to about 11% in more affluent areas. While healthy food is often ridiculously expensive, less healthy options are relatively as cheap as, chips.
The structural explanation looks at the fact that those in the lower social class groups may not be able to afford healthy food, they may be more likely to live in poor housing conditions and they may have limited access to exercise or health care facilities. Structural explanation is an explanation for crime, such as homicide, that focuses on social structure, referring to inequality of condition, poverty, or power differentials. These factors can all contribute and explain why these individuals may have a higher rate of illness. It can also be said that doctors may spend more time with individuals who come from higher socio-economic groups. Health care facilities are fewer in areas which...