1: Evaluate the nature of State welfare provision.
2: Evaluate theories of Welfare: Marxist and feminism, strength and weakness, pros and cons.
3: Assess the impact of class on health.
4: Analyse a range of theories and explanations of health inequalities.
The paper discusses the welfare of the state in four sections. The first section evaluates the nature of the state welfare provisions that explains the welfare and welfare state and understands the provisions required for having a welfare state. It explains the strength and weakness of the provisions of welfare state. The strength of the state welfare provisions are its being humanitarian, religious, democratic, practical and of mutual self-interest and the weakness of the state welfare provision is that it allows people to use the property as they desire with full right. There are several views for welfare state, the most common view is it is an ideal state where development of industries, society serves the work force of the state and helps the state to grow.
Evaluates the two theories of Welfare, Marxist and feminism in terms of their strength and weakness. The strength of the Marxist theory is its explanation of the way capitalism has deformed the nature of welfare state. The strength of Feminist theory is their concern to the position of women and about gender inequalities in the society. The weakness of the Marxist theory is to consider the welfare of the society in terms of exercise of power and profit earned by the business class. The weakness of the Feminist theory is too much concern about the gender inequality and on female disadvantages in the society
The impact of class on health has been assessed. Health inequalities are defined as a difference in the distribution of health determinants between different groups of population or as the differences in the health status of the people in the society
A range of theories and explanations of health inequalities is analyzed. Here a range of theories and explanation of health inequalities are discussed. The theories have developed to explain the poor health of the working class due to the poor diet, sub-standard living, low incomes, Unhealthy behaviour, bad occupational conditions and psycho social stress.
1: Evaluate the nature of State welfare provision
The term welfare is always associated with needs but it generally goes beyond need and refers to achieve well being, to have choices and to have the scope to choose ambitions and goals. The term “welfare state” means different in different countries. In some countries it means an ideal model, where all responsibilities are taken by the state for the universal welfare of its citizens. On the other hand, in some countries, it is used for the welfare provided by the country and in other states, it is used for the social protection that is provided not only by the state but also by the people who does public service and the volunteers (Walby 2012).
The government has used the concept welfare state to explain the key role played by the state in the promotion and protection of the economic and social well-being of its citizen. The principles of equitable distribution of wealth, equality of opportunity, public responsibility are used for those who are not able to avail themselves the minimal provisions for a good life. A modern welfare state is defined by the sociologist as a combination of welfare, capitalism and democracy. The most developed welfare state is classified into three categories, Liberal, Conservative and social democratic (Walby et al.2012).
In a welfare state a transfer of funds is required from the state to the services provided, like education, healthcare etc. directly to the individuals. Redistributionist taxation system is used for funding which includes larger income tax for higher income earner, known as progressive tax system, helps to reduce the income gap between rich and poor (Vogel 2013).
The strength of the state welfare provisions are its being humanitarian, religious, democratic, practical and of mutual self-interest. The concern about poverty has led to the development of several areas. Some religions have made charity as one of their religious duty or as social responsibility. Several welfare states have developed from the mutual activities of groups and not by state activities. Democratic rights have helped to give social protection. Further, social and economic benefits are derived from welfare provisions. A country that has good welfare provisions tends to have less poverty and richer compared to countries that have less provisions of welfare (Stephens et al. 2012).
The weakness of the state welfare provision is that it allows people to use the property as they desire with full right. It makes the people interdependent on each other and the social arrangement decides the production of the property. Further, it is true that property rights are important but other moral values should also be given equal importance. Further, welfare state weakens economic performances of a country. The provision of welfare state traps the people in poverty and encourages dependency. It excludes the people who are not part of the family relationships and welfare of a state is based on mutual responsibility and social network. Those who are not part of the social network are excluded from the state welfare provision. The need of finance for the welfare does not only depend on taxation but also on contribution by the volunteers. It is difficult get good contribution for the welfare state by the volunteers (Rose and Harrison 2014).
There are several views regarding the state welfare provisions. Some says, welfare state is an ideal state where development of industries, society serves the work force of the state and helps the state to grow. It helps to balance the economy during recession. On the other hand, some are of the view that welfare state is a burden on the performance of an economy. Public expenditure done for welfare state hampers economic growth. It is difficult to understand the relationship between public spending and economy. There is not much of the evidence which shows that when a country spends more on welfare then it develops faster than the country which spends less on welfare (Palència et al. 2013).
2: Evaluate theories of Welfare: Marxist and feminism, strength and weakness, pros and cons
Marxist school has developed the theory of welfare state based on the relationship of the exercise of power. The welfare of the state is developed through the strength of the resistance of working class to exploitation. Marxist has seen the society in terms of the conflict among the economic classes. The dominant class were the owners of the means of production and the working class were exploited by them. According to Marxism, the welfare of the society depends on how the power is exercised (Murcia et al. 2013).
Feminism theory of state welfare is different from Marxist theory of state welfare. It makes a commitment to change the society and relates the concept of welfare to the position of women in the society The theory have tried to explore the complicated relationship between statutory welfare services, capitalism and women’s equal position in the family and at work. The theory has explained the different ways in which the female welfare are exposed to the disabling effects of welfare. It has developed theories of social conflicts that explain how the women are at disadvantaged in the society as well as in the welfare state (Muntaner et al. 2013).
The strength of the Marxist theory is its explanation of the way capitalism has deformed the nature of welfare state. The Marxist theory have argued that economic system of a country requires to undergo some fundamental changes if the welfare state has to live according to its assurance to meet the need of the human. Further Marxist have gone beyond the quantitative limits of the welfare state and does not believed in the older tradition that says human freedom is dependent on the social relationships (Modleski 2015).
The strength of Feminist theory is their concern to the position of women and about gender inequalities in the society. They have looked at the gender dimension to the existing theory of welfare state. In this regard, feminist theory have developed theories of social conflicts where they have explored the issue of conflicting interest among the men and women in a society. The theory has also exposed the inequalities of power within the home and the concept of women domination. They have tried to reinforce the idea that political is not different from personal. A women liberation in a society depends on her liberation at home. The feminist theory has come out of the traditional thought of practices at home as private matter and has played an important role in changing the structure of personal relationship and goals of females in the society that has given new ways to men and women to live their life (Meyers 2014)
The weakness of the Marxist theory is to consider the welfare of the society in terms of exercise of power and profit earned by the business class. The welfare of the society is beyond the financial gains. It depends on the inner development of the human being which is not considered by the Marxism. They have given priority to class division in the society and have not spoken about the welfare of the females and children separately (Lahelma et al. 2015).
The weakness of the Feminist theory is too much concern about the gender inequality and on female disadvantages in the society. In the process, the feminist theory has neglected the importance of male in a society and the development of the children irrespective of the gender. It is true that the welfare o a state depends on women development in a society but along with that other development factors are to be considered, which is ignored in the feminist theory (Jones and Higgs 2013).
3: Assess the impact of class on health
Health inequalities are defined as a difference in the distribution of health determinants between different groups of population or as the differences in the health status of the people in the society. People from different social classes have different mobility and mortality rates between the elderly and the younger population which lead to health inequality. The inequality in health and inequity need to be distinguished in the discussion of health inequality. When the health inequality is due to the biological variation of the individual, it is beyond the control of the individuals. In this case, it is impossible to change the determinants of health and avoid the inequalities of health. On the contrary, when the health inequality is due to the external environment of the society of gender or class inequality then it can be avoidable. The unfair and unjust means of treatment to the people of different social class leads to inequality of health (Hobbs 2016).
The social class treatment in a society has a great impact on the health of the people. If the different class of the people receives different treatment in the behavioural pattern of the society then it also lead to unequal treatment to the health of the people belonging to different social class. Classification of social class is generally according to the profession of the people with respect to the treatment received for their health. They are professional occupations, skilled, partly skilled and unskilled occupations and managerial and technical occupations. The social class of an individual influences the health damaging behaviour of a person like, consumption of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, use of immunisation, choices of diet, leisure time activity. The difference in the social class explains one-third of the differences in the health behaviour (Hennessy 2012).
The people in the society who are exposed to poverty suffer more health hazard compare to others. These people are more exposed to air-pollution and damp housing due to their way of living and hence having greater impact on health issues. The children living in the damp housing has higher rates of respiratory disease. Such materialistic differences also lead to health inequalities among the people of different social class (Hekman 2013).
Differences in the social circumstances may bring about differences in emotional responses which in turn lead to biological changes and further to health inequalities. Further differences in the maintaining the balance between work and home or the balance between rewards and efforts affect the health of the people and results in different complications of health. People who face poor home condition in the childhood are liable to get poor health in the future than people who face healthy childhood. The social class of the people has a great impact on the inequalities of health (Grant 2013).
The social class differences arise due to occupation a difference that has an impact on health inequalities. The occupation which are handled by men are subject to more health hazard such as, dangerous machinery, exposure to toxic chemicals , motor bike racing, rock climbing and others. Each occupation has different impact on health and thus leading to health inequalities (Donovan 2012).
4: Analyse a range of theories and explanations of health inequalities
There are a range of theories and explanation of health inequalities.. The theories have developed to explain the poor health of the working class due to the poor diet, sub-standard living, low incomes, Unhealthy behaviour, bad occupational conditions and psycho social stress. Three main dimensions of social stratification and health inequality are social class, social status and political power. The health inequality report has been explained through a report of a working group, called as “The Black Report”. The report explains the health inequalities through artefact, culture, behaviour, structural conditions and social selection. Health of an individual is largely influenced by the social position of the individual. The personal characteristics of an individual determine the behaviour of the people and their social position which in turns affects their health and creates inequalities of health (Burton 2012).
The black report was published by the Department of Health in Britain to express concern of the failure of the Britain government in bringing improvement in the health of the people. The objective of the report was to gather the information about the health status differences in the social class and to understand the factors responsible for it. The report wanted to identify the casual relationship between the social class and health inequalities and to make suggestion to do research on the concerned areas. The report wanted to find evidences in the international and national levels of such casual relationship and provide solution to reduce the inequalities of health. The lower occupational groups have poorer health quality at all stages of life (Dale and Foster 2012).
The report explains the measures of inequalities and defines the problem of inequalities. It looks at the social structure of health, utilization problems of health service, inequality trends of health and the evidence from the international levels. In this regard, the report explains the social inequalities of health. It also reviews the implication of such social inequalities and finds areas of research for future information. Some policies are recommended as a solution to the problem of inequalities of health. The services associated with health are also discussed in the report with some key factors relating to the social policy (Biddle 2014).
The report has shown evidences of social health inequalities in Britain which is country of substantial amount of resources Such a problem of social health inequalities n a developed economy is not acceptable, The report suggest that educationally and socially a broader understanding of health should be encouraged and there should be some means to achieve the broader level of understanding. It includes improvement in housing facilities, income generation good working and environment conditions. There is a need to balance between the economic and social policies in highly industrialised economy in order to achieve high standards of health. The report has identified poverty as one of the major cause of social health inequalities and has taken it as a disease which cannot be controlled by medicines (Artz 2012).
Further the report says provisions for better medical service is very important and should be given to all without any reservation in its distribution to the social class people. A system of health service must be made that reaches to everybody without any discrimination between sick and healthy, poor and rich. Moreover, it is important to have evaluation system to understand the progress of the policies and to find out the reason for not achieving the objectives and to find out the obstacles so that solution can be achieved (Barr 2014).
Hence the objective of any state should be to achieve equality of health among the social class and to remove all the obstacles that come in the way of attaining the equality and removing all kinds of inequalities in the health status of the people of different social class.
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