Is Inequality Making Us Sick?. Is Inequality Making Us Sick?
Despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, the United States ranked 33rd in the world in life expectancy and 56th in infant mortality in 2014 (World Factbook 2014). It is easy to equate health with behavior. In other words, we tend to think that if you eat right, exercise, and don’t smoke you will be healthy. Sociologists, on the other hand, investigate how the experience of inequality can have a negative impact on an individual’s health.
For this discussion, begin by reviewing the following resources:
Minority Health – https://fod.infobase.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?token=40706&wID=100753&plt=FOD&loid=0&w=640&h=480&fWidth=660&fHeight=530
Inequality Hurts:The Unhealthy Side Effects of Economic Disparity
Study: Homophobia Harms Health
Using the resources as evidence to back up your ideas, address the following:
- How does social class correlate with health outcomes? In other words, explain how access to healthcare, free time to engage in exercise, and exposure to chronic stressors (in addition to the time and resources available to manage them), vary by social class— and in turn, how that impacts one’s health.
- What is a food desert? Why does it occur? How does the phenomenon of food deserts negatively impact the health of certain groups of people?
- Consider the social identities of race and sexuality. In each of those identities, there are certain groups that tend to experience discrimination and inequalities. Based on the resources you reviewed, explain how the actual experience of discrimination and inequality can negatively impact one’s physical (not just emotional) health? In other words, what is the connection between the experience of inequality and discrimination and negative health outcomes?
There are many additional resources listed under Recommended Resources that can also help you address these questions.
Reference: World Factbook. (2014). Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency.
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