Rosalie Aroni; Week 8 MED1011; Health, Knowledge and Society
Strata is layers of society, also known as social ladder or social position. Formal social structure can be caste system, informal can be SES status or social classes. Social inequality can be from uneven distribution of social rewards, can be from life chances, social class based on power, wealth, income and status, and class membership controlled by ownership of economic resources, ownership of marketable skills and wage labour.
SES is descriptive classification that reduces lived reality of class to an abstraction. Social mobility is movement within social stratification system, intra-generational mobility is changing social position during his/her career, inter-generational is when child has a higher or lower class than parents. Ascribed position is born into, achieved position is gained by work.
Social determinants of health are early life experiences, social exclusion, unemployment, social support, addiction, food, transport and work. Whitehall studies investigate effects of social determinants of health. Health is inversely associated with social class.
Artefact explanation is link between material resources and wellbeing reflect changes in occupational structure rather than a real association- class based inequalities in health are artificial and constructed by flaws in the measurement process.
Theories of natural/social selection- genetic explanations explain poor health and therefore downward social drift, class position is consequence of health status rather than vice versa.
Cultural and behavioural explanations- behavioural has focus on individual as unit of analysis, argues that it is personal choicce regarding lifestyle that causes poor health. Materialist or structural explanations posit how people in lower social classes have limited education and employment opportunities with poorer access to resources than those in other classes. Income differences are a cause of class differences in health in this theory.
Working conditions found to be the largest contributor to health, related to SES, stress, work related disease and injury. Asbestos - mesothelioma - Latrobe Valley.