Health And The Social Definition Of Health

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Introduction Health is an important element throughout our life. A person’s health can be affected by many social factors such as gender roles and economic positions. As there are differences in health status between different populations groups, health inequality is then formed, for example, differences in morbidity and mortality rates between people from different social classes. In my essay, I will first define the meaning of ‘health’ from different perspectives. Then, I will talk about how social factors such as gender roles and economic positions determine a person’s health. At the end, I will suggest methods to solve the health inequality.

Definitions of ‘Health’ ‘Absence of diseases’ is a common definition of health within our society. However, it cannot completely express the definition of health since health is affected by many factors but not only biological and physiological. An official definition of health by the World Health Organization is, ‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The enjoyment of the highest attainment of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being, without distinction of race, religion, political beliefs or economic and social conditions’ (World Health Organization, 1948). However, William and Popay (1994) suggested that the definition of health and illness should be organized in the following way: i) they do not mimic medical

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