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  • Understand how social epidemiology can be applied to health in the United States
  • Explain disparities of health based on gender, socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity
  • Give an overview of mental health and disability issues in the United States
  • Explain the terms stigma and medicalization

Health in the United States is a complex and often contradictory issue. One the one hand, as one of the wealthiest nations, the United States fares well in health comparisons with the rest of the world. However, the United States also lags behind almost every industrialized country in terms of providing care to all its citizens. The following sections look at different aspects of health in the United States.

Health by race and ethnicity

When looking at the social epidemiology of the United States, it is hard to miss the disparities among races. The discrepancy between black and white Americans shows the gap clearly; in 2008, the average life expectancy for white males was approximately five years longer than for black males: 75.9 compared to 70.9. An even stronger disparity was found in 2007: the infant mortality    , which is the number of deaths in a given time or place, rate for blacks was nearly twice that of whites at 13.2 compared to 5.6 per 1,000 live births (U.S. Census Bureau 2011). According to a report from the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation (2007), African Americans also have higher incidence of several other diseases and causes of mortality, from cancer to heart disease to diabetes. In a similar vein, it is important to note that ethnic minorities, including Mexican Americans and Native Americans, also have higher rates of these diseases and causes of mortality than whites.

Lisa Berkman (2009) notes that this gap started to narrow during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, but it began widening again in the early 1980s. What accounts for these perpetual disparities in health among different ethnic groups? Much of the answer lies in the level of healthcare that these groups receive. The National Healthcare Disparities Report (2010) shows that even after adjusting for insurance differences, racial and ethnic minority groups receive poorer quality of care and less access to care than dominant groups. The Report identified these racial inequalities in care:

  1. Black Americans, American Indians, and Alaskan Natives received inferior care than Caucasian Americans for about 40 percent of measures.
  2. Asian ethnicities received inferior care for about 20 percent of measures.
  3. Among whites, Hispanic whites received 60 percent inferior care of measures compared to non-Hispanic whites (Agency for Health Research and Quality 2010). When considering access to care, the figures were comparable.

Health by socioeconomic status

Discussions of health by race and ethnicity often overlap with discussions of health by socioeconomic status, since the two concepts are intertwined in the United States. As the Agency for Health Research and Quality (2010) notes, “racial and ethnic minorities are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to be poor or near poor,” so many of the data pertaining to subordinate groups is also likely to be pertinent to low socioeconomic groups. Marilyn Winkleby and her research associates (1992) state that “one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of a person's morbidity and mortality experience is that person's socioeconomic status (SES). This finding persists across all diseases with few exceptions, continues throughout the entire lifespan, and extends across numerous risk factors for disease.” Morbidity is the incidence of disease.

Questions & Answers

guise I am reading about abstract labour ..so can any one tell me what is difference between usefull labour and abstract labour?
Ritu Reply
Please what are the available job opportunities after studying this course
Naa Reply
firstly , you have to study this .... how much job are available in this course you can imagine .... just put your deep focus in this ....give your enough time to study it...then see Then see how the job comes down to you
Ritu
still , you want to how many jobs in this to read the importance of sociology in this book"principals of sociology by C.N SHANKAR RAW"
Ritu
sociology is good study
marshell Reply
sociology isn't only good study ... this is best subject to live a real humen life..bcz i this we reas about human behavior
Ritu
bcz in this we read about humen behaviour
Ritu
That is a biased statement. 😀
SHIVAM
could you explain how this is biased statment?
Ritu
Whatever I have said.. by observing this subject ........
Ritu
That's common sensical approach not an empirical one.
SHIVAM
sir may be u r right...but if some persons have science.. and they define their subjects.. or someone has geography ..and he define it by observing .. so we can't say that this is their prejudice and biases
Ritu
Thats a bias of course. when you say a subject is best it means it is better tha n all other subjects. Hence, you must analyse other subjects on same parameters
SHIVAM
and then present a conclusion. although Such thesis would not be a part of sociology
SHIVAM
that ryt sir .....
Ritu
I m totally agree with u
Ritu
what symbolic interactionism emphasises
Thembekile Reply
guise.. could anyone tell me from which site someone can get jnu previous year question papers?
Ritu Reply
m.A entrance
Ritu
what is difference between fact and data?
Ritu Reply
I suspect that there are folks you have a good reason for encouraging this kind of confusion..
dipsan
Data is information.  It is objective.  Facts, on the other hand, are often extrapolations of applications or interpretations of data.
dipsan
Data can be very reliable when understood properly.  Facts are reliable less frequently, depending on the level and type of interpretation applied to the data the facts claim to be based on.
dipsan
hmm you r right well thanks
Ritu
it's my pleasure......
dipsan
ask me what ever you want to know I will try my best..!
dipsan
what is the diffrence b/n power and force?
seid
both are different concepts
Ritu
one is Where a person can get any work done by any person on his own wish, even if he does not wish.
Ritu
force is an action on a body or interaction of two bodies.while power is the amount of energy consumed during an over the body
Ritu
force is defined as the rate of change of momentum.... Power refers to the rate at which a force is able to transfer energy................
dipsan
could any one tell me when exams will be organise of2020?
Ritu Reply
may be after lockdown
Sachin
compare and contrast the concerns of the liberal ferminist in the marxist ferminist theory? please can someone explain to me...
johanne Reply
how much I know about it ...liberal feminist means when women thinks that they can change their situation and make equal in the context of man.in their capabilities and qualities! Marxist feminist related to relations of labour and means of production .
Ritu
when it approach when women change their situation only revolution..and it become only option to get equality to man
Ritu
theories of conflict: functionalism and Marxist.
Chano Reply
what is the sociology of education
Sthab Reply
Copied"The sociology of education is the study ofhow public institutions and individual experiences affect education and its outcomes. It is mostly concerned with the public schooling systems of modern industrial societies, including the expansion of higher, further, adult,and continuing education.
Yolanda
thanks
Sthab
the definition of the interdependence of different parts of society
Solani
sociology or education means lerning about humen behaviour.that why its content is very much dynamic and vast...
Ritu
in sociology of education we learn whole subjects are in society
Ritu
Hey guys im new to this sociology journey how deep can this rabbit hole get ?
Shanel Reply
hie guys I'm new and I wanna know about society and sociology journey?
johanne
compare and contrast the concerns of the liberal ferminist in the marxist ferminist theory? please can someone explain to me....
johanne
tell me what crime is please
onoja Reply
refers to an unlawful act committed to an individual or state and is punishable
Noel
crime.... is a thinking and also we can an action by individual ..which is not acceptable in any way.. and in which society or law gives punishment ..so every thing that is punishable is crime we can relate this in any type of action both materially or emotionally .
Ritu
sorry it send two times by technical error
Ritu
so we can say also that crime is negative action by masses.we can't limited that what is crime and what things is under crime it depends on society what they wants to add in this fact. it's change and move different by society to society .i That the crime in India may not be in America.
Ritu
one thing more you also know that modern time there is Countervailing law ( In which only the loss of a person is met) and the other oppressive law (in which crime is considered against the whole society)
Ritu
for exp.. ( In olden times, love marriage was considered bad and the whole villagers punished against the whole society.
Ritu
In modern time In the oppressive law like if a love marriage is done in today's time, the village or society does not give punishment and there is no constitution either.
Ritu
discuss any 3 ways in which schools may acts as agents of cultural transmission
Fiona Reply
what is difference between faith and superstition, when can we say that this belief and this superstition?
Ritu Reply
?
Ritu
copied (Basically faith means believing in things that you have no evidence to believe in while superstition means believing in things you have no evidence to believe in)
dipsan
To me, faith is backed by religion unlike superstition which is illogical and is based on individual bias #u_r_free_to_disagree
Hanief
Dipsan Xtha it is one n the same thing... wil u plz cross chek it
Hanief
you both are right by your ways.. but my question is this that Imagine that we are in a village centuries ago where the people believe in the God, black magic, havan
Ritu
So my question is when will we say who trusts whom, who has faith in whom
Ritu
What are the signs that show differences in faith and superstition?
Ritu
hanief you r right but understand ...both are related to religion society can't be serve without religion ..if there is religions have in every societies and every period of time so both faith and superstition are..
Ritu
some still believe
Anuj
I asked this question bcz every person face in their life ..so when anyone has sign that can show that.. this base we can say ' this is faith' and 'this is superstition'
Ritu
in most of the stories.....or situations superstition is use as a weapon to make people think that something bad is going to happen...to them or person with interest...
Anuj
faith .... when we hope for good or the best in tough situation
Anuj
yaa you r right...!!!
Ritu
what is your perspective.... on this@ritu verma
Anuj
But do not take this situation on yourself, bcz we know whether it is a thinking superstition or faith.
Ritu
listen naw am going to tell please don't take it as personally ... listen
Ritu
i value ur statement ... but for me one who is superstitious may nt b having faith bcz sociologically faith is associated with religion unlike superstition
Hanief
realistic situation hai ... Some people believe in God, some evil spirits .. Some people tie threads in the arm .. Some people worship all day, some people are able to get out for 2 mints.
Ritu
and all these things r tied to reilgion
Hanief
In which a person worships 24 hours .. is it his faith or superstition .. and the person who hardly knows 2 mints turns out to worship.
Ritu
Is this not his faith ... what is the measurement and scaling
Ritu
ok u can go ahead with ur argument..... 👍
Hanief
to define and find it ? This is very critical and complicated question of any society
Ritu
👍
Hanief
🤔
Hanief
hanief u r ryt as sociologicaly .you r telling Emile durkhime thoughts.. as a theory u r ryt .time of durkhime these concepts are as not highlights as naw..naw religion has become is big problem .. I think solution is there .there is problem ...
Ritu
r u going towards the origin of new society ....which will be build upon the remains of older one ... r we ..?
Anuj
yaa u can ...bcz I read the theory of karl marks in which he explained about thesis anti thesis then become synthesis
Ritu
hmm
Anuj
good
Sihab
can a man with a height under 5 feet join the ias and pcs
lavkush Reply
yes u can appear for IAS EXAM with your height as 4feet 7 inches as there is no specification regarding physical requirement for IAS aspirants.
Ritu
yeah sure a man can also join pcs under 5 feet
Ritu

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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