Health and Mental Health Difference between Low and High Social Class
Social class is a term used to describe the distribution of wealth; however it includes other factors like education level, difference in cultural practices, background and the level and quality of employment. In the health field, disparities in social class exist ranging from the quality of medication to the care and attention given to different classes of people. This has greatly disadvantaged people of low social class since they cannot afford quality healthcare, consequently lowering the standard of life and exposing them to more health risks and diseases. Additionally, studies show that life expectancy decreases with the quality of life; this implies that people at lower social class have shorter life expectancy due to the kind of lifestyle they are exposed. More disturbing is that access to mental health care and related illness is a challenge to people of low class therefore causing prolong effects that would otherwise be reduced.
People in the lower social class are characterized by low income, low education and literacy levels and general unemployment. Due to the inequitable distribution of income, access to quality health care and adequate mental health care is a problem. This leads to poor quality of life. The lower class of people is greatly affected with high rate of infant and maternal deaths; this has led to reduced life expectancy as compared to people with high social class. Education is a tool that promotes awareness and enables people to make informed and prompt decisions. Low social class is characterized by low level of education. This implies that their decisions in matters concerning health may be uninformed. This is evident in issues like vaccination, hygiene and lifestyle changes.
Mental health is the psychological well-being of an individual and includes the emotional adjustments and behavioral patterns exhibited by the person. The low social class is greatly affected by mental health and its associated effects both on the affected individual and on the people around them. This is due to the difference in the ease to access quality mental care due to the high cost of medication and the quality of life that is generally hard and therefore resulting in stress and depression.
In a classless society individuals do not belong to any social class and therefore, disparities in wealth, education level and social networks do not arise. A classless society is an ideal situation that is achievable.
Firstly, access to quality education by all people has been made possible due to various interventions which have led to reduction in the cost of education. Inequalities in education is one factor that is contributing to inequality; hence access by all to affordable, quality education is a positive step toward the attainment of a classless society. Among the possible interventions is offering scholarships to needy students therefore enabling them to access higher education. Secondly, technology and innovation is creating more opportunities therefore improving the ease to access to information and opportunities. This is narrowing the gap between the low and high social class. Access to improved medication due to availability of affordable comprehensive insurance health care is a step towards a classless society.
Developed countries, especially European countries like Germany, have lower inequality as depicted by the Gini factor. This is because of the level of literacy, ease to do business and political stability that is enjoyed by these countries. The bigger gap between the social classes in developing countries is attributed to the unfair distribution of public resources, impunity and high levels of corruption.
Sociological Perspectives on Gender Inequality
Many theories try explaining the reasons behind gender inequality that is being experienced between different social groups. In my opinion the conflict perspective is most cogent explanation for gender inequality. This perspective classifies human being into two broad categories; the dominant and the subordinate group depending on the level of influence and control of opportunities. The male is the dominant and therefore is in constant control over women who are the underdogs. As one group fights to maintain control, the other group fights to gain equality and recognition therefore causing a conflict.
This fight over dominance is the sole cause for conflict that is experienced between the different genders. This perspective further explains that the dominant group exploits the subordinate group in all aspects and will always try to maintain their power. Men have been in control of nearly all the public utilities and opportunities, while women have been under represented in most spheres including politics, employment and academics. This is the cause of resistance and rise in movements advocating for equality among the two genders. Women have been dependent on men therefore converting them into wage earners with little control of property. Due to the fight for equality, the women have made progress in education, leadership and employment but men remain, by large, in control of the society.