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Social Class, Race, and Health

Attitude and behavior significantly shape both physical and mental well-being. These elements, in turn, are influenced considerably by various social circumstances, such as class and race differences. Social class is an umbrella term that is comprised of the education, assets, and employment of a person (Giddens et al., 2019). When an individual has a highly paid job, has attended a university, and possesses a myriad of material resources, they may be considered a citizen of a higher class.

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Differences in social class may lead to inequalities when receiving healthcare. For instance, in some countries such as the United States, healthcare is expensive, and low-income households may not afford necessary services. Such a situation may force a family to neglect mandatory health checks that help diagnose illnesses at the early stages of development. Besides financial capabilities, education is also a significant factor because statistics suggest that individuals with higher levels of education tend to live longer (Giddens et al., 2019). The reason is that educated people are more likely to engage in healthy behavior.

When healthcare is offered to all strata of the population equally, the occupational status may introduce some inequalities. For instance, manual workers are more exposed to hazardous substances and the risk of physical injury than individuals working in offices (Giddens et al., 2019). Race may also affect well-being in regions where some racial minorities are disadvantaged. In the United States, blacks have lower life expectancy than both whites and Hispanics (Giddens et al., 2019). Institutional discrimination and racism may be the factors contributing to health inequality between different races. For instance, poor black neighborhoods in many cities do not have access to quality food (Giddens et al., 2019). They have to consume high-fat products, which deteriorate their well-being.


Giddens, A., Duneier, M., Appelbaum, R. P., & Carr, D. (2019). Essentials of sociology (7th ed.). W. W. Norton & Company.

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