In order to understand the concept of health inequality, first, we must acknowledge the idea of health. The Constitution of World Health Organization ‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’ (Emerson and Hatton, 2013).The delineation is instrumental, and it is helpful to stress the phrase ‘not merely the absence of disease,’ now considering this definition it is hard to realise the health equalities in the present condition of our world, the world of globalisation and information and technology. However, the term health inequality can be understood at many levels of differences present in the circulation of health contributing factor between different groups of the population. For an instance, the differences between the mortality rates of people belonging to different social classes and so on. The very important to distinguish is the difference between health inequality and inequity. Health inequity refers to unfair, unjust and avoidable differences in the health-related issues while on the other hand health inequality is unavoidable as it is associated with genetic and other natural factors or the lack of means. Nevertheless, health inequality can lead to inequity in health.
Anything that goes against social norms is categorised as deviant behaviour. The amplification of this behaviour occurs when an action that is either illegal or immoral is performed by an individual is continuously repeated in the form of breaking news over and over again, the debates and discussions are arranged to ignite the issue (Kidd-Hewitt and Osborne, 1995). Now in the course of this reporting, the action might look cool to many, and the result can be severe. In other cases, the cases like blasphemy, the masses pressurise the law enforcement agencies to take actions that can lead to extremities of punishments and often lynching. As we have seen many developing countries like Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. The problem with this phenomenon of amplification of deviance is the way in which it is exaggerated and manipulated for the sake political and power related goals, and sometimes there religious sentiments take in behind the amplification of deviance. There is also a concept known as the deviancy amplification spiral; it was formulated by Wilkin in 1964, the theory is based on two types of deviance; primary and secondary deviation. According to the primary deviation, the deviant breaks a rule in his mind or reality, but it does not change the psychological structure of the person. On the contrary, secondary deviation refers to the respond of being labelled as deviant. When the individual is tagged and repeatedly told of his transgression it changes the structure of his psyche and leads him to consider crimes of the serious nature. Hence, the amplification occurs on many levels by many external forces (Armstrong and Wilson, 1973).
Mental Ill Health and Deviancy Amplification
The recent issue of mass killing in the American school is a related issue that can discuss here, according to the President the boy was mentally ill. We have a history of this kind crime where the mentally ill are more inclined to involve in activities considered as social evils. According to Stanley Cohen who wrote the book ‘Folk Devils and Moral Panics,’ he states that “a condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests’. The title of his book divides the two; one being the folk devil (mentally sick) and the moral panics, the so-called mental activists. The mental activists claim that this happens because of the chemical imbalance in their brain while altogether ignoring the dire conditions like unemployment, homelessness, and poverty (Cohen, 2011).
Armstrong, G. and Wilson, M., 1973. City politics and deviancy amplification. Politics and Deviance, pp.61-89.
Cohen, S. and Young, J., 1981. The manufacture of news: Social problems, deviance and the mass media. Sage Pubns.
Cohen, S., 2011. Folk devils and moral panics. Routledge.
Emerson, E. and Hatton, C., 2013. Health inequalities and people with intellectual disabilities. Cambridge University Press.
Kidd-Hewitt, D. and Osborne, R., 1995. Crime and the Media. London.