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Materialist On Health Essay

988 words - 4 pages

Health is ‘not merely the absence of disease and infirmity, but the complete physical, mental and social wellbeing’ – World Health Organisation. There is not only one universal definition of health because different cultures see being healthy differently to others. The materialist explanation of social class differences in health chances is that poorer health is caused by inequalities of wealth and income, not the other way round where the poor health causes the individual to have inequalities in wealth and income.
The materialist explanation is saying that poorer people have a lack of money, which leads to ‘significant social class differences in health chances: working- class people are ...view middle of the document...

’ Men who do manual jobs are in the working class so they are at a higher risk of dying because they are working more hours and as they are in the working class there is a lot of inequality towards them. Item C also says that ‘according to the materialist explanation, these class differences are the result of factors such as the nature of work, insecurity and unemployment.’ The working class have to work in unfair conditions which are not safe, which could lead to having health problems for example, if you are working in a factory you are at a higher risk of developing a respiratory problem than the middle and upper class. The working class are more likely to be unemployed than the middle class because they do not have the rights to employ themselves for a job, as they have to apply for one from the boss who is in the middle or upper class. The result would be that the materialist explanation would be correct because the disadvantages which the working class have compared to the middle class is huge, so they have a greater chance of having a premature death. Also, the working class are likely to live in poverty because they have poor jobs and do not earn a good amount of money to be able to afford treatments for their health.
The Inverse Care Law suggests that health care resources are allocated in inverse proportion to need. Item C says ‘the materialist explanation is often described as a structural explanation, since it sees the unequal structure of society as the underlying cause of class inequalities in health.’ This happens because poorer areas have less medical facilities like GP practices, so the working class get the least help and resources even though they need it more than the middle class. The explanation is called a ‘structural explanation’ because it is due to how...

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