The class origins of health inequality

John Germov

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter in textbook/reference bookpeer-review


    Popular notions of class tend to focus on lifestyle differences and consumption patterns,particularly regarding fashion, as a social marker of status. While these may indicate class membership in a general sense, they shed little light on how class differences are generated in the first place. Sociological analyses of class focus on the underlying factors that produce and reproduce class differences. The different theoretical perspectives used by sociologists have resulted in ongoing debate over appropriate definitions and theories of class, most notably between updated versions of Marxist, Weberian and Bourdieusian perspectives (see Goldthorpe 1996; Wright 1997; 2005; Crompton 2008; Atkinson 2015; Western, Baxter & Germov 2019). This chapter discusses the concept of class, provides up-to-date evidence of class-based health inequality, examines the main explanations of health inequality, and ends with an overview of strategies aimed at achieving equity in health outcomes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSecond opinion
    Subtitle of host publicationAn introduction to health sociology
    EditorsJohn Germov
    Place of PublicationSouth Melbourne, Victoria
    PublisherOxford University Press, USA
    Number of pages23
    ISBN (Electronic)9780190306496
    ISBN (Print)9780190306489
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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