Health Inequalities Essay

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The Influence of The Structural Factor of Socio-Economic class on Health “Social class or socioeconomic status is the strongest predictor of health, disease causation and longevity in medical sociology” (Giddens & Sutton 2009 pg 407). This essay aims to explore the influence of the structural factor of socio economic class on health. It will begin with the previously used model known as The Registrar Generals Classification System (Giddens 2009) and then today’s current model known as The Socioeconomic Classification System (Giddens 2009). It will discuss how social class shapes our lives as well as our, environment, educational needs, living and working conditions which all contribute to health (Graham 2007). It will touch on sociological theories and key reports such as The Black Report (1980), The Health Divide (1987), The Acheson Report (1998) and The Marmot Report (2010) these will explain the impact of what does influence health and why. Social Class was defined by the Registrar General in a system which was used from 1911 up until the 1990s which set this out in relation to occupation, housing, income and education in what may be referred to as a ‘Hierarchy’ system, Graham (2000). There was a growing need to replace this system as the original data collected was based largely on the status, wealth and occupation of the man of the household. Today’s structure of society has changed enormously for example, more women now work outside of the home and work full time even though unemployment levels are at their highest because of the economic recession, (Giddens 2009). Today the classification system used to denote socio-economic class reflects a different society and the terms for different classes have been replaced by; The ‘Advantaged’, ‘Marginalised Insecure’ and the ‘Disadvantaged’ (Graham 2000). Class differences in mortality are a constant
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