This Unit 8 Sociological Context HSC Assignment enables the learners to gain understanding of the nature of contemporary society and explore how society is structured in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, social class, family and households and analyse the impact that social inequalities in society have on Policy-making and care practice in health and social care. Learners will also develop an understanding of how social factors influence the provision and delivery of health and social care services and their role as a key determinant affecting health and social care outcomes for individuals systems.
You are a health and social care worker working in a multidisciplinary community team including social workers and nurses and a care advocate. Your clients include the elderly, young mothers with children, people suffering from dementia, depression or mental illness, learning and physical disabilities. Your clients live in a variety of settings, for example council housing, rented accommodation, and owner occupied property and also care facilities. They have one thing in common, in that they live in an area where there is very little employment possibilities. The work that is available is poorly paid, therefore all the people on your caseload are in receipt of some form of benefits such as income support, job seekers allowance, disability grant, carers’ allowance etc. from the government.
Health inequalities have been studied for decades. Key works include the Black Report (1980), the Acheson Report (1998) and more recently the final report of the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (2008). The Black report showed that the death rate for men in social class V was twice that for men in social class I and that gap between the two was increasing, not reducing as was expected. Some reports showed that there are differences in health between ethnic groups. South Asian people are reported to have high rates of heart disease and of hypertension whereas Black Caribbean people are reported to have high rates of hypertension, but not of heart disease and all ethnic minority groups are reported to have high rates of diabetes, but low rates of respiratory illness;
Some other reports also claimed that inequalities in health exist between young and old, and that the old receive poorer treatment and are denied access to certain procedures. Gender inequalities also exist. Men are almost twice as likely to develop and to die from the ten most common cancers that affect both sexes. So it all shows that health inequalities have many facets—health is unequal according not only to social class, but to gender, ethnicity, age, disability and mental health status, to name only a few. Governments have made serious efforts to address the problem. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, health inequalities have continued to increase.
2.2 Identify which theoretical perspectives underpin these reports and analyze the social inequalities from their perspectives
2.1 Use data to explain inequalities exists in health and social care- e.g. census, stratification, class structure
3.2 Use data to explain how social and health issues are socially constructed
Analyze how inequalities which exist in health and social care can impact on an individual’s health status and lifechances.
“Broken society” may be a catchy phrase, and useful for encompassing a variety of social ills. Drug abuse, violent crime, teenage delinquency, family breakdown, welfare dependency, poor urban environments, educational failure, poverty, the loss of traditional values, teenage pregnancy, dysfunctional families, binge drinking, children who kill: all have been cited as proof that we have a broken society”. There are many reasons for inequalities in health in the UK. There are significant differences in life expectancy of at least 10 years between different groups in society. Those living in poverty generally have poorer life chances and poorer health because of lower living standards, including poor housing and poor diet. Understanding what effect the changing society have had on service provision, benefits, and the delivery of resources is a key component in understanding sociological concepts in relation to contemporary issues of social and health.
3.1. Apply sociological concepts and theory to definition of health and well being
3.3. Explain the possible implications of social and health issues for health and social care providers
3.4 Analyze social and health issues and their impacts on the health and wellbeing of individuals in society