Social class and discrimination

People’s experience of class and poverty can lead to their views not being heard, being left out when decisions are being made, isolation and humiliation.

A recent poll showed that poor people in particular think that class, not ability, greatly affects the way they are seen.

In the last 25 years the number of people in the top two social classes has doubled in Glasgow. However while the city’s middle class has grown and prospered, other parts have seen little improvement. Many people are dependent on sickness or unemployment benefits or low paid work. This has led to growing inequality.

More recently information has become available on the impact of the recession in 2009, changes to tax and benefits as part of the spending review and changes to welfare reform.

A recent review of mortality in EU countries since the recession showed that the downward trend in suicide before 2007 reversed in 2008 and increased by 7% in those younger than 65 years and increased again in 2009 . This immediate rise in suicide is an “early indicator” of the recession crisis, such as the turmoil in the banking sector which later led to unemployment.

Stuckler et al. Effects of the 2008 recession on health: a first look at European data, The Lancet, Vol. 378, July 9, 2011


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