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The importance of economic, social and cultural capital in understanding health inequalities: using a Bourdieu-based approach in research on physical and mental health perceptions

Wouter Pinxten (UGent) and John Lievens (UGent)
(2014) SOCIOLOGY OF HEALTH & ILLNESS. 36(7). p.1095-1110
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Abstract
In this article we adopt a Bourdieu-based approach to study social inequalities in perceptions of mental and physical health. Most research takes into account the impact of economic or social capital on health inequalities. Bourdieu, however, distinguishes between three forms of capital that can determine peoples' social position: economic, social and cultural capital. Health research examining the effects of cultural capital is scarce. By simultaneously considering and modelling indicators of each of Bourdieu's forms of capital, we further the understanding of the dynamics of health inequalities. Using data from a large-scale representative survey (N = 1825) in Flanders, Belgium, we find that each of the forms of capital has a net effect on perceptions of physical and mental health, which persists after controlling for the other forms of capital and for the effects of other correlates of perceived health. The only exception is that the cultural capital indicators are not related to mental health. These results confirm the value of a Bourdieu-based approach and indicate the need to consider economic, social and cultural capital to obtain a better understanding of social inequality in health.
Keywords
LIFE, LEISURE ACTIVITIES, STRATIFICATION, SELF-RATED HEALTH, ASSOCIATIONS, POPULATION, MORTALITY, PATTERNS, SURVIVAL, PEOPLE, Bourdieu, economic, social and cultural capital, cultural participation, physical and mental health, SF-12, Flanders, Belgium

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MLA
Pinxten, Wouter, and John Lievens. “The Importance of Economic, Social and Cultural Capital in Understanding Health Inequalities: Using a Bourdieu-based Approach in Research on Physical and Mental Health Perceptions.” SOCIOLOGY OF HEALTH & ILLNESS 36.7 (2014): 1095–1110. Print.
APA
Pinxten, W., & Lievens, J. (2014). The importance of economic, social and cultural capital in understanding health inequalities: using a Bourdieu-based approach in research on physical and mental health perceptions. SOCIOLOGY OF HEALTH & ILLNESS, 36(7), 1095–1110.
Chicago author-date
Pinxten, Wouter, and John Lievens. 2014. “The Importance of Economic, Social and Cultural Capital in Understanding Health Inequalities: Using a Bourdieu-based Approach in Research on Physical and Mental Health Perceptions.” Sociology of Health & Illness 36 (7): 1095–1110.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Pinxten, Wouter, and John Lievens. 2014. “The Importance of Economic, Social and Cultural Capital in Understanding Health Inequalities: Using a Bourdieu-based Approach in Research on Physical and Mental Health Perceptions.” Sociology of Health & Illness 36 (7): 1095–1110.
Vancouver
1.
Pinxten W, Lievens J. The importance of economic, social and cultural capital in understanding health inequalities: using a Bourdieu-based approach in research on physical and mental health perceptions. SOCIOLOGY OF HEALTH & ILLNESS. 2014;36(7):1095–110.
IEEE
[1]
W. Pinxten and J. Lievens, “The importance of economic, social and cultural capital in understanding health inequalities: using a Bourdieu-based approach in research on physical and mental health perceptions,” SOCIOLOGY OF HEALTH & ILLNESS, vol. 36, no. 7, pp. 1095–1110, 2014.
@article{5822751,
  abstract     = {{In this article we adopt a Bourdieu-based approach to study social inequalities in perceptions of mental and physical health. Most research takes into account the impact of economic or social capital on health inequalities. Bourdieu, however, distinguishes between three forms of capital that can determine peoples' social position: economic, social and cultural capital. Health research examining the effects of cultural capital is scarce. By simultaneously considering and modelling indicators of each of Bourdieu's forms of capital, we further the understanding of the dynamics of health inequalities. Using data from a large-scale representative survey (N = 1825) in Flanders, Belgium, we find that each of the forms of capital has a net effect on perceptions of physical and mental health, which persists after controlling for the other forms of capital and for the effects of other correlates of perceived health. The only exception is that the cultural capital indicators are not related to mental health. These results confirm the value of a Bourdieu-based approach and indicate the need to consider economic, social and cultural capital to obtain a better understanding of social inequality in health.}},
  author       = {{Pinxten, Wouter and Lievens, John}},
  issn         = {{0141-9889}},
  journal      = {{SOCIOLOGY OF HEALTH & ILLNESS}},
  keywords     = {{LIFE,LEISURE ACTIVITIES,STRATIFICATION,SELF-RATED HEALTH,ASSOCIATIONS,POPULATION,MORTALITY,PATTERNS,SURVIVAL,PEOPLE,Bourdieu,economic,social and cultural capital,cultural participation,physical and mental health,SF-12,Flanders,Belgium}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{7}},
  pages        = {{1095--1110}},
  title        = {{The importance of economic, social and cultural capital in understanding health inequalities: using a Bourdieu-based approach in research on physical and mental health perceptions}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12154}},
  volume       = {{36}},
  year         = {{2014}},
}

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