The complexity of social class lies within the definition and the separation between people who are labeled as belonging to a particular part of society and those who provide such a separation. Moreover, it is often connected to race, ethnicity, age, gender, and education since the privileged class is made unique by the presence of proper schooling and dominant race, while the absence of education and desired racial features are thought of as stereotypical. One of the definitions of social class is the financial well-being of people; however, it does not always relate to finances. For example, social class is partly defined by the location of one’s residence. In other words, if people belong to the middle class but live in a neighborhood that is considered to be a criminal and undesirable location, the residents of such a place will be labeled as a certain class division. Usually, there are three types of class, such as lower, middle, and high, but the statistics fail to consider those who live below the lower status. These individuals exist on or below the poverty line, which makes them a completely different and separate layer of society.
Poverty is closely connected to ethnicity, race, and education since immigrants are new to the environment of the receiving country. While there are those who arrive into a new setting with resources, thus integrating properly into local society, these people constitute a small percentage of immigrants (TED, 2015). The majority of people arriving into a more developed country have left their homeland in order to build a better life and an opportunity for development and prosperity. The segregation and unfair treatment at home often force people to look for a better life, whether for themselves or their children. A similar situation occurs in regards to age and gender, as younger people are often thought of as incompetent and lacking life and work experience. There is no doubt that this is fact of life; however, young people must not be judged based on their age because life experience is sometimes replaced by talent or natural skills. The same can be said about gender and education because the relationship can be seen in predisposition and stereotypical behavior towards those who do not have a college degree. The only way people without a degree can achieve a higher social status is if they are naturally skilled and talented as well hardworking, being in the constant practice of their individual capabilities.
Culture and gender are the defining features of any human being as they are inborn. Consequently, they are considered the uncontrolled circumstances of life. While these features are possessed by all people, some individuals, having the same qualities, often discriminate against others, basing their views and behaviors on discrimination and their ability to overpower others. This issue can be observed in the medical industry, and it is referred to as cultural pluralism in the context of sexism in medical ethics. The single acceptable perception of other people and the wanted contingent in the medical system are discriminatory and stereotypical due to the norms, established throughout time and existence of this profession. People are treated differently based on the typically accepted norms of gender and class.
These tendencies are unfair and degrading, which leads to the slowdown in the development of medical profession and the delivery of treatment as well as the establishment and placement of a correct diagnosis to patients.
The unfairness and discrimination towards gender in the medical profession has always been the issue in the past and modern medicine. Men are thought of as the desired gender for doctor positions, while women are more preferred for the nursing ones (Gordon, n.d.). It is an unfortunate fact, but socially, women are thought of as less competent then men. This idea is supported by the historical treatment of women and their fight for equality and justice. Stereotypes created by men are in no way supported by any biological or social evidence because women are absolutely as competent and skillful as men are (Rhodes, Francis, & Silvers, 2008). Nevertheless, the general public still expects doctors to be men, while women in the profession are often thought to take lower positions, traditionally nursing ones (Bhatt, 2017). According to Hinman (2013), the stereotype towards women has been enrooted in human society, and oftentimes, women are regarded “as less capable than men...” (p. 299). Due to the historical nature of such a treatment, discrimination and predispositions continue.
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Another type of gender discrimination, which can be seen in the medical sphere, is that of men in the nursing position. Over the years, women have been the ones who have taken the role of the nurse, taking care of the patient and speaking with the doctor to find the correct course of treatment (Boylan, 2013). In the modern day, men pursue the position of a nurse because it is as respectful and demanded as any other medical occupation. The attention to detail and the organization of professional approach have displayed a significant skill possessed by males in relation to their duties (Tomlinson, 2012). Men in nursing are a part of a similar stereotype and predisposition that can be seen towards women as doctors because historically, women were the ones providing immediate care to patients. Doctors would usually prescribe the treatment, while administering it to the patient would be the responsibility of the nurse. Nowadays, the roles shift, and it is acceptable for men to take the role of a person who will make sure of the proper and timely delivery of the prescribed treatment.
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Gender also plays a significant role in the delivery and diagnosis of patients. Commonly, men are taken more seriously than women are because of the attributions of emotional nature (Sugarman & Sulmasy, 2010). It is a sad fact but women are constantly wrongfully accused of being more emotional and sensitive in comparison to men; thus, their diagnosis is skewed by the thought-up symptoms. Physical problems with women’s health are often thought to be psychiatric, so references are made to the unstable nature of their mind and mood changes; women even “have symptoms of heart disease misdiagnosed as ‘stress’…” (Koven, 2013). This claim is in no way supported by any scientific evidence, and it is completely the result of men’s discrimination and stereotypical attitude towards women.
There are several possible solutions that can enhance the changes that happen but rather slowly. One of the ways it to set a necessary quota of women who can be hired for the positions dominated by men and the same can be done vice versa. Since social stereotypes are difficult to eradicate, the change must begin within the industry. Staff members of both genders could receive evaluation forms where they would rate their relations with other staff, management, and the public. In case there is discrimination from the staff members, any activity of such kind must be penalized. If medical professionals feel stereotyped by patients or visitors, each particular individual with a prejudiced view could receive a pamphlet that would describe the role of the hospital staff and their duties. This will ensure that the public is aware of the job difficulties, discrimination, and the level of skill that each staff member possesses to have to perform their duties.
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Sexism and cultural pluralism in medicine can be seen in the selection of the staff and the treatment of patients. Form one side, women are seen as unreliable for doctoral positions and suitable for the nursing ones, while men are usually seen as doctors but they are believed to be incompetent and degraded in nursing positions. These views have been wrongfully established by historical stereotypes, proving once again the inappropriate judgment of facts.
The poor in the United States are qualified as people who live below the poverty line. This part of the population commonly consists of immigrants who have arrived without significant resources. They are forced to work illegally and receive wages that are signally lower in comparison to official employment. As these people lack status and proper documentation, they have no choice but to select jobs qualified as most labor-intensive ones. The local population also faces poverty because of job loss, shifts in the economy, natural disasters, inadequate upbringing, and government sponsoring. In this context, welfare is the government’s help to aid people who are unable to support themselves financially due to life’s circumstances. This aid is meant to push them towards building a career and improving well-being so that the division between classes could be fixed and eradicated. Today’s welfare targets people who are willing to work and thankful for the government’s help; however, there are those abusing these privileges, thus the process of providing this aid is rather individual and selective.