Social space, social class and Bourdieu: Health inequalities in British Columbia, Canada
ABSTRACT This article adopts Pierre Bourdieu's cultural-structuralist approach to conceptualizing and identifying social classes in social space and seeks to identify health effects of class in one Canadian province. Utilizing data from an original questionnaire survey of randomly selected adults from 25 communities in British Columbia, social (class) groupings defined by cultural tastes and dispositions, lifestyle practices, social background, educational capital, economic capital, social capital and occupational categories are presented in visual mappings of social space constructed by use of exploratory multiple correspondence analysis techniques. Indicators of physical and mental health are then situated within this social space, enabling speculations pertaining to health effects of social class in British Columbia.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Gerry Veenstra, Aug 13, 2015
- SourceAvailable from: Piet F. Bracke
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- "Examples are: knowledge of medical topics and vocabulary, instrumental attitude towards the body, self-discipline and orientation towards the future (Shim 2010). This form of cultural capital becomes directly relevant to health through the adoption of healthy lifestyles, such as engaging in preventive care (Abel 2008, Abel and Frohlich 2012, Phelan et al. 2004, Shim, 2010, Veenstra 2007). Cultural health capital theory stresses that behavioural options and preferences are structurally constrained and unequally distributed between social groups (Abel 2008). "
ABSTRACT: While there are abundant descriptions of socioeconomic inequalities in preventive health care, knowledge about the true mechanisms is still lacking. Recently, the role of cultural health capital in preventive health-care inequalities has been discussed theoretically. Given substantial analogies, we explore how our understanding of cultural health capital and preventive health-care inequalities can be advanced by applying the theoretical principles and methodology of the life-course perspective. By means of event history analysis and retrospective data from the Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement, we examine the role of cultural capital and cultural health capital during childhood on the timely initiation of mammography screening in Belgium (N = 1348). In line with cumulative disadvantage theory, the results show that childhood cultural conditions are independently associated with mammography screening, even after childhood and adulthood socioeconomic position and health are controlled for. Lingering effects from childhood are suggested by the accumulation of cultural health capital that starts early in life. Inequalities in the take-up of screening are manifested as a lower probability of ever having a mammogram, rather than in the late initiation of screening. © 2014 The Authors. Sociology of Health & Illness © 2014 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness/John Wiley & Sons Ltd.Sociology of Health & Illness 11/2014; 36(8):1259-75. DOI:10.1111/1467-9566.12169 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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- "Barriers to diabetes self-management background may result in people entering the field of selfmanagement at a disadvantage through enculturation into dispositions, values and behaviours which oppose those required for successful self-management. Bourdieu's concept of class is relational and is based on cultural tastes, educational opportunities, economic opportunities and social networks held in common (Veenstra 2007). Many of the concepts which underpin self-management – such as self-efficacy and health literacy – associate structural inequalities with individual deficits and seek to provide resources to overcome these deficits (Kendall and Rogers 2007). "
ABSTRACT: Approaches to self-management traditionally focus upon individual capacity to make behavioural change. In this paper, we use Bourdieu's concepts of habitus and capital to demonstrate the impact of structural inequalities upon chronic illness self-management through exploring findings from 28 semi-structured interviews conducted with people from a lower socioeconomic region of Adelaide, South Australia who have type 2 diabetes. The data suggests that access to capital is a significant barrier to type 2 diabetes self-management. While many participants described having sufficient cultural capital to access and assess health information, they often lacked economic capital and social capital in the form of support networks who promote health. Participants were often involved in social networks in which activities which are contrary to self-management have symbolic value. As a consequence, they entered relationships with health professionals at a disadvantage. We conclude that structural barriers to self-management arising from habitus resulting in the performance of health behaviours rooted in cultural and class background and limited access to capital in the form of economic resources, social networks, health knowledge and prestige may have a negative impact on capacity for type 2 diabetes self-management.Nursing Inquiry 06/2014; , 21(4):336-345. DOI:10.1111/nin.12073 · 1.05 Impact Factor
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- ", those low in economic resources tended to rank low or medium on social or cultural dimensions as well , while those high in eco - nomic resources tended to rank high or medium on the other di - mensions . These offer " pointers toward social groupings " that suggest variation in health capabilities or " health - enhancing priv - ilege and opportunities " associated with different groups ( Veenstra , 2007 : 30 ) . More narrowly , the contrasts between the low and high resource groups serve to highlight the role and impact of economic , social , and cultural resources on health capability and dietary management . "
ABSTRACT: While the “social determinants of health” view compels us to explore how social structures shape health outcomes, it often ignores the role individual agency plays. In contrast, approaches that focus on individual choice and personal responsibility for health often overlook the influence of social structures. Amartya Sen's “capabilities” framework and its derivative the “health capabilities” (HC) approach attempts to accommodate both points of view, acknowledging that individuals function under social conditions over which they have little control, while also acting as agents in their own health and well-being. This paper explores how economic, social, and cultural resources shape the health capability of people with diabetes, focusing specifically on dietary practices. Health capability and agency are central to dietary practices, while also being shaped by immediate and broader social conditions that can generate habits and a lifestyle that constrain dietary behaviors. From January 2011 to December 2012, we interviewed 45 people with diabetes from a primary care clinic in Ontario (Canada) to examine how their economic, social, and cultural resources combine to influence dietary practices relative to their condition. We classified respondents into low, medium, and high resource groups based on economic circumstances, and compared how economic resources, social relationships, health-related knowledge and values combine to enhance or weaken health capability and dietary management. Economic, social, and cultural resources conspired to undermine dietary management among most in the low resource group, whereas social influences significantly influenced diet among many in the medium group. High resource respondents appeared most motivated to maintain a healthy diet, and also had the social and cultural resources to enable them to do so. Understanding the influence of all three types of resources is critical for constructing ways to enhance health capability, chronic disease self-management, and health.Social Science [?] Medicine 02/2014; 102:58–68. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.11.033 · 2.56 Impact Factor