Health inequalities are the differences in health status or the distribution of health determinants between different population groups. This essay will describe how sociologists explain the health differences in the UK in terms of class, gender and ethnicity.
In UK social class, seems to be influential in determining one's health. The Black Report (1980) and the Acheson Report (1998) have found a causal link between social class and the incidence of ill health. According to Haralambos and Holborn (2013) findings of these reports were that the gap in inequalities of health between lower and higher social classes was widening. It was also found that health standards were directly linked to social class and ill health increased down the social scale. There are a number of approaches to the explanation of the relationship between social class and health.
The social selection theory is one approach that explains the relationship between social class and health. According to Taylor et al, (2007), in this approach, the class structure is seen as a filter of human beings and one of the major bases of selection is health. According to the social selection approach, people in the upper class, have the lowest rate of premature mortality because it is made of the strongest individuals of the population. The lower social class contains the weakest and most frail people. Ill health is, therefore, a cause of class position. According to the Black Report (1980 cited Haralambos and Holborn 2013) this theory explains the dominance of individuals with severe mental disorders in the lowest social class. Affected individuals drift to the bottom of the occupational scale. Goldberg and Morrison (1963 cited Haralambos and Holborn 2013) suggests that people with schizophrenia are likely to occupy lower social class. The Black Report suggests the similar selective process occurs with other forms of diseases but at a lesser extent.
The social constructionist explanation...