APUS How Social Status Impacts an Individual Physical Well Being Responses

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American Public University System


Please choose at least two of the following prompts to discuss in your reply posts:

  1. Find a classmate and discuss how and why does social class affect people’s health? Please explain by including examples from the article.
  2. How does social class affect health separately from ethnicity? Please explain by including examples from the video.
  3. How does ethnicity affect health separately from social class? Please explain by including examples from the video on breast cancer. What solution does the doctor offer in the report? Do you agree?

post 1:

In practically every society and since the beginning of societal development, there has always been a division of people based on social and economic standing. Generally speaking, those with more money tend to do way better in life than those with less. According to Janny Scott’s Life at the Top in America Isn't Just Better, It's Longer, not only do those in the upper social classes tend to do better, but they tend to live longer as well. This is not anything along the lines of a causational relationship because rich people can still die of randomly tragic accidents like the rest of us, but this statement is just a general observation of the way things generally work. As mentioned throughout this class and all over the world, people who belong to the upper social classes are able to afford as well as take advantage of the better quality insurances and medical aides in comparison to those who belong to the lower social classes.

Scott’s article in the New York Times compares the situations of three people from three different social classes who all endure a heart attack. These three people were an architect (higher social class), a utility worker (middle social class), and a maid (lower social class). Although they all had very similar medical horror stories (a random heart attack), we are able to see just how large of a role a person’s social class plays in their medical treatments and in turn, life. Comparing the architect to the maid, one had a choice in treatments as well as where they were treated, one had a team of people working towards their recovery, one was able to take off from work, and one was truly privileged throughout as well as after the experience. This one person was most definitely not the Polish maid.

Usually, we are told and/or taught that ethnicity and race has a lot to do with health and how you are treated. While ethnicity has played a large role in health and medical treatments in the past, a large part of this role is really affected by social class. Minorities, especially black people, are more likely to belong to a lower social class than their counterparts. As mentioned previously, the people that belong to a lower social class generally do not have the access they should to treatments and aides that may even the playing field. After watching this report, I have realized that people like Nikia are important in the destruction of social class effects on health. Nikia’s research and experience led her to conclude that the lack of care access, lack of care received, and lack of the sense of being valued or heard all played a role in the generational acceptance of less than quality health care. Access to quality health can assist in eliminating the idea of ethnicity playing a role in health and amplify the fact that social class plays a larger role than we may address.

Dr. Otis Brawley explains that obesity, malnourished/bad diets, and not breastfeeding are all things that may lead to breast cancer in a woman. Mamograms are used amongst both white and black women, but according to Dr. Brawley, black and poor white women are more likely to get fewer quality mamograms. These same women (lower social class) are also more likely to get fewer quality diagnostics as well as less quality treatment in comparison to their counterparts. The way this may be combatted is by doing things to keep your body healthy such as maintaining a good body weight, promoting a good diet, getting a good amount of exercise, trying to breastfeed (when applicable), and doing the best to seek the highest quality care possible. Quite frankly I believe that this is easier said than done, but I do agree that controlling the controllable is a good place to start.

post 2:

  1. How and why does social class affect people’s health? Please explain by including examples from the article.

In the article it states “Class is a potent force in health and longevity in the United States. The more education and income people have, the less likely they are to have and die of heart disease, strokes, diabetes and many types of cancer”. A person’s social class has a significant impact on their physical health, their ability to receive adequate medical care and nutrition, and their life expectancy. While gender and race play significant roles in explaining healthcare inequality in the United States, socioeconomic status (SES) is the greatest social determinant of an individual’s health outcome. They are unable to use healthcare as often as people of higher status and when they do, it is often of lower quality.

  1. After watching the report below, explain how social class affects health separately from ethnicity? Please include examples from the video.

There is evidence that social class affects health separately from ethnicity. Depending on social class, minorities tend to receive lower quality of care than nonminorities and that, patients of minority ethnicity experience greater morbidity and mortality from various chronic diseases than nonminorities. In the video it states, “Categorizing and diagnosing patients according to their race, is part of American medical practice”. Racial disparities persist, even for black women who are college educated. African American women are more likely to experience poverty and lack insurance which outs them at greater risk for poor maternal and infant health outcomes.

  1. The following video explains why "Breast cancer [is] now as common among black women as white." How does ethnicity affect health separately from social class? Please explain by including examples from the video. What solution does the doctor offer in the report? Do you agree?

The social classes are the most pervasive and powerful in their influence. However, ethnic subgroups (defined in terms of religion, race, or nationality background) are also effective, more so at the lower-working-class level than at the upper-middle-class level. Race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status are strongly associated with many health and health care outcomes; thus, these factors should always be considered as demographic variables in evaluating population health. Examples are mammography rates, where black women as well as poor white woman are less likely to receive high quality mammography, once diagnosed, they’re less likely to get high quality diagnosis. The solution the doctor offers is to maintain and ideal body weight, try to get good exercise, diet that’s high in fruits and vegetables. Decrease meat consumption and try to breast feed if you have a child. I agree because this will lower the rates of woman developing breast cancer tremendously.


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Social Class and Health
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Social Class and Health

Reply to Post 1
Your post has substantially highlighted how social status significantly impacts an
individual's physical well-being, health, and ability to acquire effective medical care,
nutrition, and overall life expectancy. Further, the post acknowledges that most challenges
are attributed to difficulties in using health care systems as often as people of higher social
status would do. Besides health, other social jurisdictions that may be ...

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