Sociology in Health Care

Within this essay I shall draw upon two sociological theories to discuss contemporary society, and the relationship between social factors and health. In order for me to illustrate this fully, I will examine both the conflict theory and feminism.  
The conflict theory states that all inequalities in society exist as a result of a small dominant group controlling and exploiting other weaker classes within society. This theory is based on the premise that society is divided into two classes; the ruling class and the working class.  
One conflict theorist is Marx, who has been extremely influential in both the origins of the conflict theory and in the field of sociology. Karl Marx (1818-83) proposes that there are two classes of people within society, the Bourgeoisie (ruling class) and the Proletariat (working class). Marx suggests that society has evolved to a capitalist system, and that all inequality stems from economic inequality (Giddens, 2006). For example, the Bourgeoisie owns the means of production (factories, businesses etc), and as a result of this they are in a position to financially exploit their Proletariat workers. Thus, in order for him to gain a livelihood, the proletariat must sell his only valuable asset, his labour to the bourgeoisie for a small fraction of profits (a wage), with all surplus profit going to the owners of production. An example of the Marxist concept that the owners of production exploit their workers is present today. Examples such as Western rich company owners using sweatshops abroad, where they can pay their workers next to nothing and regain the greatest percentage of profits encapsulate this aspect of Marxist theory (Giddens 2006).

Leaning heavily and developing upon Marx’s perspective, Wright (1978) suggests that there are several dimensions of control over economic resources in modern capitalist society that allow us to identify the major classes that exist. According to this theorist, social class is a ‘complex...