Social Classes and Life Chances

Unit 4

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The social class we are born into or achieve will affect many things about our life chances:

  • How long we live
  • How healthy we are
  • Our housing
  • Level of education we recieve
  • Likelyhood of becoming unemployed
  • How much time off from work we have
  • Chances of being a victim of crime

Socio-economic class has been linked to health inequalities.

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Explanations for Inequalities

1. Artefact
There are no actual inequalities - it is only down to the way we measure people.

2. Natural/Social Selection
If you are ill or have a disability, you are automatically placed towards the bottom of society. It is hard to come out of these lower classes.

3. Cultural Explanations
It is a choice which you make, dependent upon your social class. Suggests lower social classes prefer less healthy lifestyles and smoke more.

4. Material Explantion
Blames poverty, poor housing conditions, higher risk occupations for poor health of the lower social classes.

5. Social Capital
How connected people are to their communities through work, family, club memberships, political and social organisations.

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Absolute Poverty
People living without the minimum needed to survive. Do not have the basic necessities:

  • food
  • clean water
  • shelter
  • heating
  • clothes.

Relative Poverty
People living with the necessities to survive - but they do not have the other things which other people take for granted.

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Care Professional & Service User Relationships

Stereotyping: defining a group of people who share the same characteristic.

Labelling: Ignores individual personality and needs.

Care: Relationships: are different from relationships you may have with family and friends. You are given different expectations to make sure you behave approriately.

Legislation and guidelines have led to the introduction of policies and codes of conduct - given patients rights.

Care Value Base: is a set of rules and guidelines that every care practitioner has to follow in order to provide services to their clients.

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Care Value Base

Maintaining Confidentiality
 Patients will feel they can speak to health care practitioners when they have a problem, without feeling that what they say will go any further.

Promoting Effective Communication
 Patients will feel they are being treated fairly and equally, by giving the help needed.

Promoting Anti-Discriminatory Practice
 Allowing every service user access to services and healthcare; not judging on skin colour, illness/disability, religion, race etc.

 Giving service users choices and explaining the consequences of each.

Respect For Individual Choice
 Allowing service users to recieve services in their own way - without judgement.

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Good Care Relationships

Good care relationships avoid the problems that result from labelling and stereotyping. Care practitioners ned to get to know the individual, which can be difficult.

Their relationships are bulit on trust.

Not respecting their identity and needs can damage their self esteem and self concept.

A positive relationship with service users includes encouraging them to make choices about their care so they feel involved. This is known as empowerment.

We can't treat everyone equally because everyone have their own individual needs.

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Unpredictable Events

Redundancy - Physical: may have diet issues, low acitvity
                       - Intellectual: not learning new skills
                       - Emotional: stressed, depressed
                       - Social: can't go out
                       - Available support: Jobs Seekers Allowance.

Divorce - Physical: comfort eat/lose weight, get own life back
               - Intellectual: learn from mistakes, process of divorce/stress
               - Emotional: happy, sad
               - Social: not got the intimacy, segregated peers
               - Available support: Children/Friends/Solicitors.

Homelessness - Physical: no healthcare, poor hygiene
                           - Intellectual: survival instincts
                           - Emotional: isolated, worried
                           - Social: no friends/may meet others
                           - Available support: Shelters/Charities.

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Predictable Events

Starting school - Physical: waking up early, complusory physical education
                         - Intellectual: learning
                         - Emotional: attachment to teachers and friends, bullying
                         - Social: forming friendships
                         - Available support: Councillors/Teachers

Marriage/Partner formation - Physical: sexual, less persoanl space
                                            - Intellectual: stress of home/family, domestic roles
                                            - Emotional: arguing, attachment
                                            - Social: intimacy, understanding
                                            - Available support: Family/Religious Leaders

Retirement - Physical: not as active
                  - Intellectual: not stimulated
                  - Emotional: isolated
                  - Social: may meet more people
                  - Available support: Partners/Family

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Sam Morran

I like the terminology that is used in this resource - always useful to try and extend the vocabulary that you use in exams.

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