final essay 1_Essay - DSOC 1101 Socioeconomic Status and...

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DSOC 1101 Socioeconomic Status and Mortality: the Individual versus Society In “Socioeconomic Factors, Health Behaviors, and Mortality,” Lantz et al. conclude that health risk behaviors do not explain the negative correlation between mortality rate and socioeconomic status. They argue that even though there are large differences in health behavior across the socioeconomic strata, they do not account for a majority of the inequality (Lantz et al., 1998). Furthermore there are occupational and environmental health hazards, along with inequality in access to healthcare, which could account for the strong association between mortality and socioeconomic status (Lantz et al., 1998). It is possible to examine these findings using the individualist/economic and social paradigms, which offer contrasting views on the relationship between the individual and society. The individualist paradigm states that the individual is responsible for his behavior and that there is nothing greater than the individual in society. On the other hand, the social paradigm asserts that the environment dictates an individual’s behavior and actions; the individual is still able to make choices, but is constrained by lack of opportunity. Each perspective can be used separately to justify the correlation between human mortality and social processes. However the economic paradigm is inadequate because it does not account for the factors that come from being in a lower class. The social paradigm maintains that the strong association arises from the stresses and issues that come from being in a lower socioeconomic class, supporting the conclusion that Lantz et al. draw. To be able to understand why the individualist paradigm falls short in explaining
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This essay was uploaded on 02/20/2009 for the course DSOC 1101 taught by Professor Hirshel during the Fall '07 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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final essay 1_Essay - DSOC 1101 Socioeconomic Status and...

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