Chapter

The Socioeconomically Disadvantaged

Michael Marmot and Ruth Bell

in Social Injustice and Public Health

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780195171853
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865352 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195171853.003.0002
The Socioeconomically Disadvantaged

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This chapter asserts that inequality in the conditions under which people live and work translates into inequalities in health, and that this inequality is unjust. It discusses that socioeconomic disadvantage is more than low income and describes the impact of social injustice on the socioeconomically disadvantaged. Lifestyle does provide a partial explanation for the social gradient in health, but lifestyle is related to socioeconomic status. The chapter describes the roots and underlying factors of social injustice and what needs to be done. It concludes that health of the population and inequalities in health are markers of how a society is meeting the needs of its members, and that society may benefit if our set of social arrangements were to move toward a situation where control over one's life and full social participation are more equitably distributed.

Keywords: socioeconomic status; disparities; education; social gradient; health status

Chapter.  8088 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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