The Also, I will reflect on what I

The symposium explored the common problem of financial inequality.

The speaker focused on the issue in the UK society divided by classes and the
consequences of such inequality. In this report, I will discuss the main themes
that were presented in the symposium and how they were referred to psychology. Also,
I will reflect on what I have learnt from the symposium and how it shaped my approach
to critical thinking. There was a connection made to psychology in terms of
what it means to be a human and some psychological approaches to the money
issue.

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The symposium speaker started the topic with delayed
gratification test by asking questions about students’ preferences in terms of receiving
and spending money. Then, the concept of class in the UK was outlined and the
speaker explained how British society is divided by classes. One of the main
key points outlined was that the link between the income and access to
education is strong. The State of the Nation Report (2014) presented in a
symposium says that Britain is becoming a more and more divided nation. Interestingly
discussed was the common assumption is that inequality only matters to people
who are in a less advantageous position financially or socially and physically
and the ones from ethnic minorities, with disabilities as well as the poor in
general and that inequality does not bother rich people. Although, it is not
that simple and obvious. The argument behind reducing inequality is strong as
it has a negative impact on the society as a whole and the increasing polarisation
between rich and poor in developed countries is dangerous. It is crucial to
understand that it disturbs economic growth and free market ideology. Sociology
focuses on the question what does it mean for a society to be healthy as it is
connected with mental health. While sociology takes a society as a whole, psychology
focuses on individuals in relation to their health.

Also, it is important to emphasize the social consequences
of inequalities on wellbeing and criminality. That can be useful in other
disciplines like criminology. Furthermore, all these factors can lead to
psychological consequences in society and cause mental disorders such as anxiety
and depression. That was proven by some research on common mental disorders and
income inequality and income depravation published in the British Journal of
Psychiatry and conducted by Fone et al, Marín-León et al, Jokela et al, Andersen
et al.

Moreover, there was a TED talk introduced which was given by
Richard Wilkinson who presented some important points related to psychology: in
more unequal societies people trust each other less, mental illness is more common,
health and social problems are worse and homicide rates are higher. He summed up
that bigger income gaps lead to deteriorations in social relations, health and
human capital and he called it a general social dysfunction. The important
point he made about “social evaluation anxiety” and status insecurity which is
related to fear of being judged. These are the consequences of psychosocial
effects of inequality and are a part of social psychology.

 

All in all, the symposium has helped me
understand better that being critical does not mean being negative or does not equate
to dismissal but it means thinking deeply about any issues. It is necessary to
look for underlying premises in any matter. Moreover, I realised that
inequality is not only a sociological issue as it is widely known but it is
related to other disciplines like psychology in terms of mental disorders or
criminology in terms of crime. The quality of human life can be improved by
improving the sustainability.

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