Social Class and Health

2999 Words12 Pages
Health and Social Class Our personal health is affected by many factors in our daily lives. The most important factor that affects a person’s health, however, is his or her social class. Economic status often determines a person’s healthcare, and, as a consequence, that person’s overall health. The healthcare options determined by social class are no care, limited care, and uneven delivery of care. These problems carry overwhelming costs to individuals who have scant resources to spare and to the majority of taxpayers, both of whom struggle with the burden of attempting to manage healthcare costs on a crisis-by-crisis basis. This is a problem that can, and should be rectified by our government officials. The World Health Organization defines health as: “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (WHO, 1995). Our nation as a whole is far from healthy according to this definition the well-being of our nation is in serious danger. The term "social class" originally referred to groups of people holding similar roles in the economic processes of production and exchange, such as landowner or tenant, employer or employee. Such positions correspond to different levels of status, prestige, and access to political power, but social class eventually took on a more generic meaning and came to refer to all aspects of a person's rank in the social hierarchy. (Social class and stratification 1990 p2-3) In our country today we are so caught up in who someone is and what someone has, we often neglect the bigger picture. Now that we have a clear picture of the definition of health and social class, I would like to further discuss the issues that social class causes to every individual in our great nation. An individual’s social class greatly affects the care that you are able to access for you and your family
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