Social class is the arrangement or classification of people of a given community into a hierarchical order and the consequent division of such people into either economic or cultural groups. Usually, social classes are used as a way of describing people according to how they are economically or culturally advanced and has different ramifications on society.
Social classes come up almost as naturally as breathing and are often used to define and identify people. Inequalities, on the other hand, are cases or circumstances whereby people in a given community, culture, country, or other social setting do not have an equal social status or are not able to have the privileges, rights, or benefits which others in the same social group or class are able to have (Moon Gillespie 1995).
How Social Class Impact on Health
Social classes have different impacts on health. First of all, there are instances where medical practitioners tend to discriminate against different patients based on their status or social class in the community. This entails the better treatment of patients from wealthier families and backgrounds. Patients may be given favorable treatment, placed in better wards, given special food, and even when they die, their corpses are given better care.
In addition, social classes have made the overall provision of healthcare services rather difficult and even impossible in certain circumstances (Barry Yuill 2008). This is true in the case where people are expecting a certain kind of treatment, or want to be treated specially and favorably from others. Others feel they are discriminated against due to their lower social class, and view the entire health sector in a negative way. The inequalities debates
For a very long time now, there have been debates regarding how inequalities have affected healthcare provision. The debates about inequalities have centered on how the provision of health services has become somewhat skewed to favor those people in the higher class and fewer of those in the middle classes in the community. The rich or those from culturally superior communities have tended to have better access to healthcare than the poor, the minorities, and those that have other social challenges (Earle et al. 2007).
Usually, the existence of different healthcare insurance schemes for different people groups has worked to favor the rich and the working class, putting them in an elevated position where they can easily afford to fund their health bills. The poorer or those in the lower social classes find it exceedingly difficult to afford medical care because they cannot afford expensive healthcare services. This is because some do not have any healthcare insurance. Inequality debates in health centers around the affordability of critical medical care services among different people (Scambler 2003). The role of social class in inequalities
Social class plays a very important role in shaping and determining the direction and level of inequalities in different communities. Social classes have come to be used as the measure of the well-being and therefore the position and even ability of a given person or group of people. This has led to a case where belonging to a certain class means (automatically) that one is entitled to or barred from certain privileges or opportunities.
For instance, it is understood and generally accepted in this country that belonging to the high class means the affordability of everything. Social classes, therefore, promote inequality. Social classes help people to kind of view inequalities as normal societal occurrences (Gabe et al 2004).