Applying sociological perspectives in health and social care

The concept of unequal society

Across most societies, there are things that make it unequal. This implies that the society encounters some challenges as a result of specific aspects that make it not equal due to beliefs, perceptions and attitudes being expressed and leading to conflicts. Possible causes include some people perceiving themselves as of better social status than others. Those in the receiving end could be subjects of prejudice where there is a set of attitudes towards specific ethnic or social group. Those who see themselves as better are normally not willing to accept any divergent hence make no sense as to why such groups behave or exist in a certain way. It could also be a situation where certain groups within a society have no equal social class, social status or social circle.  Where there are distinct boundaries within the society preventing certain groups from achieving equal status irrespective of the efforts towards attaining such status.

Possible reasons for social and unequal society often vary but are broad. Social inequality could be as a result of a society’s understanding of fitting gender roles or perhaps as a result of social stereotyping prevalence. Social inequality could also be as a result of discriminatory legislations where those in power choose to make laws that marginalize or deprive certain group’s equal status. Other reasons include global influences where as a result of globalization certain people lose their status for instance employees being paid less or considered unskilled. Opportunities could also be another avenue where certain groups get privileged early making them have an edge over other groups.

Social inequalities that exist in the society

Different societies experience different inequalities but some cut across. Economically, most societies experience gender inequalities with regard to remuneration. Women tend to get paid less as compared to their fellow men regardless of their capabilities, skills, commitment or qualifications which may surpass or be equal to those of men. In some cases, men are also given heavier duties as opposed to their women counterparts. 

Socially, certain societies also have gender inequalities where a specific gender group is treated differently in the workplace, society or career prospects. A good example is in Saudi Arabia where women were only allowed recently to drive despite having the resources to purchase vehicles and the skills to drive safely. Some societies even do not allow women to pursue certain career prospects such as football and engineering as they are believed to be men careers.

We also have racial inequalities where certain races are believed to be inferior or being associated to some less human features. In footballs for instance, some players have been openly referred to as Bananas or black monkeys due to their skin color. We also have religious inequalities especially in regions where one religion dominates or within the religion itself. An example is Islam religion where women are not allowed to show their faces openly when their Men counterparts are walking freely. Some Christians have also been known to view their Islam and Hindu counterparts as non-religious and openly discredit them in their teachings and even providing opportunities based on religious affiliation.

Impact of social inequalities to groups in the society

There several impacts of social inequalities in the society from an economic perspective, less equal societies tend to have less stable economies. Income inequalities is linked to uneven consumer purchasing power or even investment power, individuals can only buy a specific amount of products or services thus such inequality could lead to financial crisis, economic instabilities or inflation. With regard to education, inequalities also affect the education of certain groups, not being able to afford education or quitting school because one feels marginalized contributes to an uneducated society. Such groups may then not be able to gain the knowledge required to pursue further opportunities in life leaving them marginalized as long as the inequalities exist.

Inequality also leads to increased crime, unequal groups have to resort to shortcuts to make a living thus many youths for instance resort to crime to try make ends meet or simply as a way to get back at those who cause such inequalities. From a health perspective, such inequalities also impact on the health of unequal groups. There is anxiety and stress attributed to feeling unequal in a society which has long term effects on a person’s health. Levels of mortality also tend to be higher in marginalized groups as compared to equal societies. Finally, inequality also impacts on how groups view those around them and their happiness. There is less trust in societies where people are less equal hence less motivation to engage in civic or social participation.

Impact of social inequalities in the society

Lower class groups within the society often rely on the government and other support bodies to support themselves thus leading to poorer life. This directly impacts on their well-being and health. This also has an effect on the economy of the society as a result of the government delegating resources which could have been used for development purposes to support such poor groups. The economy will also not benefit enough from the innovation and contributions of such people. Not being able to get education implies that such people will not exploit their full potential thus making them unable to positively contribute to the economy.

With increased crime as a result of inequalities, it implies that the upper class will also have to spend more on security, the government will also to employ more security personnel as well as creating more correctional families. All this involve costs which would have otherwise been invested elsewhere. In some cases communicable diseases tend to emerge from areas where unequal groups reside and may even spread across areas that are privileged, this creates a health crisis for societies. Finally, due to the high mortality rates in unequal societies, certain ethnic groups may become extinct or migrate to areas where they feel will receive better opportunities. This has a direct impact on culture as such mortalities or migration degrades the quality of culture of such societies.

Recent demographics change within Britain

The Gender pay gap in Britain based on average hourly earnings dropped from 9.4 in 2016 to 9.1 in 2017 which indicates a good progress towards equal pay. Nevertheless, this progress is insignificant given the sluggish improvement. The progress may be attributed to government and Trade Union Congress efforts to try push for equal pay forcing companies to strive towards equal pay.

As at 2017, there were around 13.3 million disabled persons in Britain. Of those, 3.5 are in employment which was a slight improvement compared to the 2.9 million persons in 2013. Though there is some improvement, it is still quite low as compared to projected improvements. The improvements are again as a result of sensitization of both employers and disabled persons on rights of persons with disabilities as well as their abilities at work.

In 2017, there was 100% rise in racism and religious based hate crimes in Britain. This is indeed a worrying trend to possible affected groups. This rise is attributed to the global and national events which had the potential to ignite short term increase in such cases. This may perhaps relate to the international community residing in Britain and more focus should be on getting to co-exist harmoniously with other groups.

How demographic data is used in health and social care service provision

Demographic data are a consequence of several variables. They are also changing constantly in composition and size. With increasing disability population health and healthcare needs equally increase. It is known that disabled persons make a huge demand on health and social services. These services also come with costs thus any projections or healthcare plans must also focus on the expected change in demographics. An increase in inequality also implies that more people will have to depend on aid for living. With such dependence, social and healthcare needs will also increase. For instance, spread of diseases may increase as a result of increased inequality hence healthcare planners must cater for this in their plans.

Furthermore, demographic data are good indicators of when the population is becoming diverse ethnically. In Britain for instance, there has been a rise in the number of black and Asian groups to its population. Any increase in population has an impact on social and healthcare needs as well as how healthcare is provided. Demographics also on inequalities may give indications on possible number of stress related or psychological issues over time. This is a health issue which should be factored into planning for resource allocations.

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