Paper Sample on The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation

Paper Type:  Book review
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1577 Words
Date:  2021-09-02

The social determinant of health (SDH) is defined as the conditions or situations in which individuals are born in, grows, brought up, work at as well as aged (Kozol, 2012). SDH plays a significant role in health inequalities as witnessed around the world. The circumstances of differences in the health status are shaped by different factors. According to the book "The lives of children and the conscience of a nation by J. Kozol social determinant of health includes poverty, power, and unemployment. According to the book, unemployment leads to poverty thereby hindering people from accessing better healthcare. Moreover, good leadership plays a vital role in helping people to have access affordable healthcare services (Kozol, 2012).

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According to the book, Mrs. Washington, acquired HIV/AIDS from her husband who she thoughts that was faithful. Mrs. Washington is very sick, and this forces her to frequently seek medical services. Mrs. Washington explains that despite her condition, she is still not able to acquire social security insurance. Sometimes Mrs. Washington is forced to sit in the hospital waiting room for more than three days before getting a free bed to lie. Moreover, after acquiring the room, the nurses often seem to be busy to the extent of failing to offer services to the patients forcing her to change her bedding. However, she is lucky enough to get some support from her son and daughter which give her little hope and strength to continue living. The experience of Mrs. Washington was terrible, horrifying and unforgettable. She went through a lot of a lot of suffering, pain, and agony. Therefore, through her experience, government and relevant health agency should put more efforts and resources in helping individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

Consequently, according to the book, blaming the victim refers to accusing the victims of the problems that they are currently facing. The poor are blamed for failing to put a lot of efforts in the quest to have a good life (Volck, 2013). In the discussion of the book, the families and individuals have not been able to make it out of the poverty due to laziness. The individual sufferings from HIV/AIDS and such as Mrs. Washington are blamed for the not being responsible for their behavior thereby making her acquire the disease. I think blaming the victims for the situation that they are in is very sad and hurts my mind. Blaming victims for the challenges they are facing is like a double-edged sword that cuts both the oppressor and the oppressed. Blame games provide no solution to the problem such as the spread of the diseases like HIV/AID but rather worsen the situation. Therefore, this makes the government as well as health agency to spend a lot of funds in curbing the case.

Mrs. Washington was talking about how the patients are being handled in the hospital. The woman was comparing the situation in the hospital to that of the garage. The caregivers within the hospital do not care at the cleanliness of the hospital as well as the wellbeing of the patients (Kozol, 2012). The caregivers do not bother giving medical care to the women and other patients. According to the woman, the health workers in the healthcare facility she was hospitalized view them as a burden and individual who do not deserve to live. However, the caregivers with the hospital had no power to remove them from the hospital hence the only thing that they could do was to avoid the room that they were hospitalized in. I think the women and other patients deserve to be given proper medical attention from the health workers. Therefore, necessary actions should be taken to the caregivers who failed to provide medical care to the patients.

The power discussed in the book entail those of the wealthy individuals as well as the authorities. The rich people have dominion over the unfortunate individual. The rich and people in the authorities often seem to be above the poor individuals thereby control their lives, deeds among other thus undermining the rights of their rights. According to the book, the unselfish teacher had the powers of the school going children. Therefore, the teacher places the kids in the overcrowded class, shout at them and was very abusive to them. Additionally, the nurses mistreated the patients and failed to attend because they had the authorities over them (Shirey, 2013). Moreover, the power owned by the state was also being discussed. I think that the state possessed the power and is mandated with the role of ensuring that there the citizen is treated with dignity, however, they fail to ensure that there was sanity in the public sectors. Therefore, this prevented the poor from getting social justice (Kozol, 2012).

The statement The notion of the ghettos as a sin' committed by society is not confronted" refers to the perception held by people that majority of the people living in poor neighborhoods or slums are of evil characters and are associated by crimes such as rape, theft among other. Majority of the people from various societies still believes that individuals are ailing from those backgrounds as bad people who should be monitored closely by the authorities. The individuals in the authorities have done very little to address the issue and help in eradicating such perception from people. I think the ghettos are places with people from low class, incapable of having access to better education, good health, and hosing. Therefore, this has led to increased cases of violence, robbery as well as the spread of diseases.

Traumatization as a regular state of mind refers to the disturbance and pain among the individuals who are undergoing difficulties in overcome problems such as diseases, diseases and unemployment situations. According to the wonderful grace by Kozol, the few liberal clergy who have the right understanding of the Christianity believes that depression, hunger, and diseases cause a lot of trauma and disturbance in the state of mind among the children. Trauma affects the families, groups, and societies in many ways (LaVeist andIsaac, 2012). Individual who are traumatized are not able to work correctly thereby contributing little to the families, groups, and society. Additionally, children who are under depression, and trauma performs poorly in schools, leading people dropping out of school hence increase in crime rate. Therefore, this affects both families and the society in the school.

The statement the atrophy of childhood by physical and spiritual night refers to the courageous and delightful children whom despite racial isolation, poverty as well poor housing still manages put a smile on their face (Bold, 2017). Despite leading a normal life the children are still condemned, feel buried and powerless. A good example is David, the son to Mrs Washington, who despite living in poor condition and taking care of his mother in the hospital, still manages to get better grades earning a scholarship in the college. This is due to the wisdom of religious faith that makes him believe that evils are what the rich committed to the poor people (Idler, 2014).

What impresses me more from the children living with Mott Haven is the delightfulness and courage that they have. Despite being tender in age, they perceive the lives as very religious and generous (Swadener, 2012). They can speak eloquently and tell the truth concerning the racial isolation as well as poverty that has affected them. The children bring hope to humanity. An example is the students attending the Stuyvesant High school where a student is being admitted based on the score on the exams. The black and Hispanic kids who come from poor ghettos are said to be the best performing student. According to the book, everything that they touch turn to be gold. The children defy the all frustration to compete with kids from the rich families.

White privilege refers to the skin color meant to benefits a specific group of people who are identified as white in a particular group of people in some nations beyond what is often experienced by nonwhites (Kendall, 2012). The concepts still exist in some countries despite great civic education in states with such acts (Case, 2012). The rationale for my answer is that there are still cases of women from Black and Ethnic Minority in the United Kingdom failing to get access to better healthcare, especially during pregnancy due to the bad attitude of the "white midwives" towards them (Lan, 2011).


Bold, I. (2017). bassettamazing grace in the life of the earnest Christian 191. Earnest: Interdisciplinary Work Inspired by the Life and Teachings of BT Roberts, 190.

The case, K. A. (2012). Discovering the privilege of whiteness: White women's reflections on antiracist identity and ally behaviour. Journal of Social Issues, 68(1), 78-96.

Idler, E. L. (Ed.). (2014). Religion as a social determinant of public health. Oxford University Press, USA.

Kendall, F. (2012). Understanding white privilege: Creating pathways to authentic relationships across race. Routledge.

Kozol, J. (2012). Amazing Grace: The lives of children and the conscience of a nation. Broadway Books.

Lan, P. C. (2011). White privilege, language capital and cultural ghettoisation: Western high-skilled migrants in Taiwan. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 37(10), 1669-1693.

LaVeist, T. A., & Isaac, L. A. (Eds.). (2012). Race, ethnicity, and health: A public health reader (Vol. 32). John Wiley & Sons.

Shirey, S. (2013). The Book That Most Influenced Me: Jonathon Kozol's Amazing Grace.

Swadener, B. B. (2012). " At Risk" or" At Promise"? From Deficit Constructions of the" Other Childhood" to Possibilities for Authentic Alliances with Children and Families. International Critical Childhood Policy Studies Journal, 3(1).

Volck, B. (2013). Exceptions Proving a Poor Rule.

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