How do your personal identity and social status affect your stress and health? - Essay Prowess

How do your personal identity and social status affect your stress and health?


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How do your personal identity and social status affect your stress and health?
In the first part of this course, we learned that who you are and what your social status
is can have a major effect on your stress and health. Hierarchical social systems
provide advantages to certain individuals over others, primarily in terms of class and
wealth, but secondarily in terms of race, gender, sexuality, disability, and religion. As
inequality grows wider and more severe, social cohesion disintegrates and all
individuals, rich and poor alike, face greater stress and negative health consequences.
Inequality’s carnage is particularly magnified for individuals at the bottom of the social
hierarchy, and especially for those whose lower-class intersects with other identities
deemed less valuable by the broader society. In other words, being poor in America is a
difficult stressor in and of itself, but being poor and black, or poor and gay, or poor and
disabled is that much harder.
This paper asks you to write 4-6 pages examining the following questions about

  1. Who are you and what is your social status? (Particularly in terms of class,
    race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, age, and/or religion)
  2. In terms of stress and health, what advantages or disadvantages do your
    identity and social status give you? How and why do these health
    advantages/disadvantages exist in America?
  3. What changes can you implement in your life to have less stress and better
    health? (Particularly in terms of things you as an individual can control:
    sleep, diet, physical activity, social connections, media consumption, coping
    activities, stress management, etc.)
  4. What changes can we as a community implement to lower stress and
    improve health for all people, especially those who are disadvantaged by
    unequal societal systems? (Particularly in terms of things you as an
    individual cannot control: resource allocation, social policies, healthcare
    access, culture, work structures, public infrastructure, immigration policy,
    laws, etc.)
    To support your analysis, you should use information from at least three academic
    sources, although you are certainly welcome to cite more than three. For example, you
    might reference data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) showing a
    higher-than-expected disease rate associated with a particular identity, such as males
    reporting a 4x higher rate of suicide compared to females. Or, if you grew up in a
    wealthier neighborhood, you might reference socioeconomic research showing that
    children in higher-income areas have better access to fresh food, educational
    opportunities, and spaces for physical activity compared to children born in poorer
    areas. There are several articles posted on Canvas for each module that you can use
    as supporting evidence in your paper. You are also encouraged to search for evidence
    from outside sources, such as PubMed, CDC, HHS, and other health research
    databases. Additionally, you should choose only 1-2 parts of your identity to discuss
    as it will make your paper easier to research and write.
    Although this is a personal and introspective paper, you should try to structure it in a
    way that is easy to read and understand. This means that you should write an
    introduction where you summarize what you are going to say, and a conclusion where
    you recap and analyze what you just said. The middle of your paper should be devoted
    to answering and explaining the 4 questions above in a formal essay format.
    ● 4-6 double-spaced pages (you are welcome to write more than 6 pages if you
    need to)
    ● 12 pt. font, 1-inch margins
    ● Submit a PDF file to Canvas submission box
    ● At least three academic sources used as evidence of your argument
    ● Cite your sources in the text and in the references list using APA, MLA, or
    Chicago format
    ● The paper must be an original work created for this class. No essays from
    previous classes will be accepted
    ● Quotations from primary sources should be kept to a minimum, and only used
    if absolutely necessary to support your argument
    ● Late papers will be penalized a grade step each day (i.e. B drops to B-)
    Grading Criteria
    The grading criteria for the essay are:
    ● Is the paper substantive? (long enough, shows effort & time)
    ● Is the paper interesting? (makes the reader think, want to read/discuss more)
    ● Is the paper original? (shows creative thought, deliberate ideas)
    ● Is the paper critical? (asks tough questions, poses challenging ideas)
    ● Is the paper coherent? (easy to understand, readable)

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