Chapter 4-The Life Course, The Social Gradient, and Health.docx

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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 3090
Michelle Preyde

Chapter 4 – The Life Course, The Social Gradient, and Health INTRODUCTION  Life-course perspective on health and its social determinants sees a person’s biological status as a marker of their past social position, and, through structured nature of social processes, as liable to selective accumulation of future advantage or disadvantage  Person’s past social experiences become written into physiology and pathology of their body  Social is literally, embodied; and the body records past SOCIAL S TRUCTURE AND LIFEC OURSE  Life course may be regarded as combining biological and social elements which interact with each other  Individual biological development takes place within social context which structures life chances so that advantages and disadvantages tend to cluster cross-sectionally and accumulate longitudinally  Cross-sectionally, adv or disadv in one sphere of life likely to be accompanied by similar adv and disadv in other spheres  Person whose working environment is free of hazards likely to reside in good-quality housing, live in area of little air pollution, and have income that permits varied diet  Person exposed to physicochemical and psychosocial hazards during work at greater risk of occupying damp and inadequately heated accommodation, of being exposed to industrial and traffic exhaust atmospheric pollution, and earn income that restricts dietary choice  Social organization also structures adv and disadv longitudinally o Child raised in affluent home likely to succeed educationally, which will favour entry to more privileged sectors of labor market, where occupational pension scheme provide more financial security in old age o Child from disadv home likely to achieve few educational qualifications, enter unskilled labour market where low pay and hazardous work combine with no occupational pension, which ensures reliance
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