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SOC263H5 (99)
Lecture

Chapter Eleven.doc

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC263H5
Professor
Anna Korteweg
Semester
Winter

Description
ChapterEleven:CagesandHealth Current perspectives on inequality in health  Socio-economic status played a BIG role in health experiences whereas lifestyle choices such as smoking, exercising, immoderate eating accounted only moderately [biomedical approach]  Psychosocial factors emphasized effects of stress on the physiology of the body  House’s conceptual framework said we should concentrate on factors such as socio-economic status and race or ethnicity b/c they shape individual exposure to and experience of virtually all known psychosocial, environmental and biomedical risk which explain social disparities in health  He viewed race, ethnicity and gender as separate variables Mortality, Morbidity and Mental Health  The privileged in society who posses resources in form of income, education and social connections live longer and enjoy good physical and mental health  Those in low-income groups face more health constraints due to inequitable social conditions in workplaces, neighbourhoods  Mortality differences in rural and urban regions where high mortality rates are in rural regions due to occupational hazards  Presence of manufacturing and industry creates jobs but risk of toxins and pollution from these sources create health risks  Residents in low-income areas within the same city face more health challenges and risks  Low-income populations 16 times more likely to commit suicide than high-income populations  There are linkages b/w high SES levels and better health status – extended SES disadvantages was related to stronger declines in health and long-term SES advantage was linked to slower health declines over time  Phelan says higher SES enables individuals to get greater flexible resources in protecting their health for ex: moving to a better neighbourhood  Also, those with existing health conditions also face a difficulty in securing stable jobs and income; although Canada has accommodated employees with disabilities, stigma, misconceptions etc. have resulted in needs not being met for many Canadians  The tendency to regard disability in older age groups as ‘part of natural aging’ can result in older workers being excluded from productive employment  this negatively affects their income level and socio-economic status  “Prevalence of mental illness also varies according to social advantage”- poor, young, ethnic minorities, blacks have higher rates of mental illness than the well- to-do, older persons, ethnic majorities and whites  Stress-process research focuses on effects of stress on mental health: Two main streams 1. Extent to which different societal groups [varying by income, race/ethnicity, age or gender] are exposed to chronic strains and stressful events 2. Focus is on individual perceptions of stress and resources or buffers at hand for maintaining mental health  The development of psychosocial resources such as mastery, self-esteem and the perception of control over one’s environment is hindered for those who encounter ongoing structural barriers and disadvantages  Youth from low socio-economic backgrounds are twice as likely to suffer from depression or anxiety disorders  Even psychiatric disorders such as depressed moods, anxiety, alcohol problems come from those w/ fewer financial assets  Even schizophrenia which is supposed to be genetically caused is believed to be linked to work experience of noisy occupational conditions such as noise, fumes, temperature extremes  suggests class-linked stress could be a predisposing factor for the disease Race & Ethnicity  Aboriginal peoples suffer from serious health challenges in terms of tuberculosis, heart disease and injuries  Immigrants to Canada are selected partly on the basis of health, and research has
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