Health Inequalities: Lay Perspectives, Focusing on Concepts of Ethnic Minorities, and the Role of Structural and Agency Approaches
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[A dissertation submitted in partial satisfaction of …]
Table of Contents
1. Background information
2. Research problem establishment
3. Research objectives
4. Research questions
5. Significance of the study
V. Literature review
1. Inequalities in health service access
2. Lay Perspectives towards health inequalities
3. The structure and agency approach
VI. Theory of the research
1. The sociological theories of structure and agency
2. Theory of lay perceptions of health inequalities
1. Causes of health inequalities
2. Challenges to addressing the causes of health inequalities 3. The need for effective interventions
4. International policies to reduce health inequalities
5. National policies and strategies
6. Socioeconomic and health inequalities
7. Inequalities in health service access
8. Barriers to equal access to health care
9. The structure and agency approach
10. Intervention by structure and agency approach
11. Measuring inequalities in health status
This work is dedicated to , without whose caring and loving support it would not have been possible, and to , who taught me that the best kind of knowledge is that which is learned for its own good. It is also dedicated to , who taught me that even the largest task could be completed if done step-by-step.
I declare that the work in this dissertation was carried out in accordance with the Regulations of the University of . The work is original except where indicated by special reference in the text and no part of the dissertation has been submitted for any other program/degree. Any views expressed in the dissertation are those of the author and in no way represent those of the University of . The dissertation has not been presented to any other University for examination either in the state of  or any other overseas country.
This dissertation would not have been realizable devoid of the supervision and the help of a number of individuals who in one way or another threw in help and extended their valued assistance in the groundwork and the completion of this dissertation. First and foremost, my greatest gratitude to  whose sincerity and encouragement was priceless.  has been my inspiration as I crossed all the obstacles in the completion this dissertation work. I thank my colleagues and staff in the Department of  or the use of facilities in their care, for the consultations, and the moral support. Last but not the least, my family and the ever-present God, for answering my prayers and giving me the strength to carry on despite the myriad challenges faced.
Among the social issues that have increasingly intrigued and interested sociologists is health. Specifically, health inequalities and inequities on the basis of one’s ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, sex and culture have been the focus of quite a number of sociology researches in recent times. Although earlier studies did not focus much on the influences of factors such as ethnicity and race on health and health care, recent researchers have realised that minority ethnic groups and lower socioeconomic status people are more prone to experience unequal treatment at the hands of medical professionals and government policies. Fortunately, the recent increase in data/information availability and knowledge about health inequalities has made the lay public more informed about their risks of exposure to discriminatory health practices. Just like ethnicity, socioeconomic status has played quite a crucial role in shaping health and health care practices and trends in the contemporary society....
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