Marxists is a Macro Conflict perspective and believe that Society is shaped by an economic and class systems.
The Bourgeoise are the higher class members of society who gain profit from the exploitation of the Proletariat the lower working class members.
The NHS healthcare in the UK profits the Bourgeoisie as it ensure their workers are able to receive free health care when they are sick to recover and continue working for them. Higher members of society are more likely to be educated to a high enough standard to be a qualified professional, so they also benefit from having a job from the NHS.
It can be argued that the NHS does benefit the Proletariat as it is free, so they are not at a disadvantage when they are unwell they can access medical treatment. Although the Bourgeoisie can afford private health care if needed, which tends to be more successful and with less waiting time.
“Marxists such as James O’Connor argue the Welfare State is functional for the capitalist economic and social system. Functionalists would agree with this” (Trowler. P 1996 Health, Welfare and Poverty)
Both Marxist and Functionalists who I will discuss next see “individuals as relatively unimportant; they are merely part of a larger social institution.” (Trowler. P 1996 Health, Welfare and Poverty)
Marxists and Functionalist see members of society as being controlled and doing as they should, in order for society to run as its deemed to.
Functionalism is a Macro Consensus perspective and they believe that everything in society has a purpose and plays a part in society functioning day to day.
Society is made up of norms and values that all members should follow, in order to have a working society.
Functionalists generally see illness as a good thing for as it gives society a need for medical professions and hospitals.
However two Functionalists quoted “Illness impairs our ability to perform our roles in society, and if too many people are unhealthy, society’s functioning and stability will suffer” Barkan (Trowler. P 1996 Health, Welfare and Poverty) and Talcott Pearson argued that illness was deviance and that medical professionals must police this. They feel that if people are always ill or too many people are ill they are not performing their role in society and as a result society will not function.
“While functionalists see society as based on agreement and operating the interests of all. Marxists see it as based on exploitation and conflict. ” (Trowler. P 1996 Health, Welfare and Poverty)
Both Marxist and Functionalist perspectives see that society operates with everyone having their own roles to keep society flowing. However Marxists believe it only benefits the elite few in society rather than as a whole which functionalists believe.
Like Marxism Feminism is a Macro Conflict theory. They argue we live in a Patriarchal society which leads women to be more prone to suffer with depression, anxiety, stress and body image issues. They believe there is still not health equality with women still being the primary person to take contraception and a male version not readily available for couples who would like to do it the other way around. Contraception that is available for men is low in side effects and does not lead to long term health problems whereas women’s contraceptives are believed to.
They also feel that there is not enough choice for women around childbirth; where they choose to give birth and how. They argue that now childbirth and pregnancy is looked as a medical condition with appointments, medication and very hospitalised rather than the natural process it was always known to be beforehand. Studies have also shown women are not supported enough after birth with postnatal care which had led to a rise in women suffering with postnatal depression.
Feminists and Marxist both believe there is exploitation in society which causes it to be unfair for certain groups. For Marxists they believe the Bourgeoisie are exploiting the Proletariat whereas Feminists feel that women are exploited and treated unfairly by men. They both want to be rid of this and have a society with equal rights for all members.