Chapter 10-Poverty, Social Exclusion, and Minorities.docx

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University of Guelph
Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 3090
Michelle Preyde

Chapter 10 - Poverty, Social Exclusion, and Minorities POVERTY AND HEALTH  Those who are worse off socio-economically have worse health  Not only the case that the poorest in society have poor health, but a gradient of ill health and mortality spans all socio-economic strata.  This gradient can be found across the industrialized world, although the strength of the relationship varies somewhat between different countries, for different age groups, by the health measures used, and for men and women  Variations in life expectancy by social class continue to be found  England- all mortality fell in all class over the study period, a consistent class gradient is apparent for both males and females. For Males, the social class gap in morality widened, whereas for females the social class gradient narrowed slightly.  Kunst and Mackenbach (1992)- compared morality by occupational social class in such European countries (Denmark, England, Wales, Finland, France, Norway, and Sweden), and found that socio-economic gradients in mortality varied in each country in different age groups, but that there were nonetheless, gradients in each of these countries.  Death rates in the 1980’s for males in manual vs. non-manual occupational classes for various countries- differences are particularly large for the former community countries of Czech Republic and Hungary showing that socio- economic gradients in mortality were not preserve of the capitalist countries of the west  In Britain, alternative socio-economic measures, such as housing tenure and access to a car are often used as indicators of social position  For example- compared to owner occupiers, those who rented their homes from a public or private landlord had increasingly higher death rates, similarly compared to those who had access to one ore more cars, those who did not have access to a car had increasingly higher death rates  Relative deprivation- concept that refers to the disadvantaged position of an individual, family, or group relative to the society to which they belong, and focuses on the condition of deprivation as well as the lack of resources  Evidence found that living in a relatively deprived area can have a detrimental effect on an individuals health, even when the individual level of deprivation has been taken into account Why Poverty is bad for health: the material, social, and psychological consequences of living in poverty  Material conditions are the underlying root of ill health, which includes being the determining factor for health related behaviours  Poverty imposes constraints on the material conditions of everyday life by limiting access to the fundamental building blocks of health such as adequate housing, good nutrition, and opportunities to participate in society  Concomitants of poverty are often poor nutrition, overcrowded, damp, and inadequately heated housing, increased risk of infections, and inability to maintain optimal hygiene practises  Poverty affects health through not only nutrition and housing but also in terms of the effect on mental health and caring for children  Income levels affect the way parents are able to care for their children  Important to recognize the experience of poverty is rarely static and unchanging and that it has a cumulative effect Increasing Poverty, unemployment, and inequality  Between 1980 and 1988- poverty rates increased in all European community countries with the exception of Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain  Sharpest rise were in Italy, Germany, and UK  Reasoning for rise- mass unemployment, reductions in welfare transfer systems, and cuts in public services- Also sociodemographic changes, ageing populations, increasing divorce rates, and increasing number of lone parent CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE  Increase in inequalities in health can thus be interpreted as a result of increases in poverty and inequality, and this phenomenon can be also seen in former communist countries of Eastern and Central Europe  Mortality has been rising since the mid 1960s  For example- life expectancy in Russia fell by 6.5 years for men and 3.5 years for women  Increasing rates of tuberculosis in eastern Europe, morbidity as a result of diseases such as diphtheria, measles, whooping cough, and syphilis has also increased, nutritional, infectious, and degenerative diseases have all become more widespread  Great proportion of the increase is due to male death from accidents and homicide, and many of these deaths all alcohol related  Severe environmental pollution has also been suggested as a possible contributory factor  Other people have pointed to behavioural changes as a major factor in these poorer health outcomes, particularly increased alcohol consumption  In virtua
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