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Social Class and Health: A Data-Driven Learning Guide

Summary

Social class is a measure of relative power, privilege, and opportunity in a society. Individuals in higher social classes generally have greater power and access to resources than individuals in lower social classes. Researchers may assign individuals to social classes on the basis of criteria such as occupation, education, income, wealth, and place of residence.

Health can be generally defined as physical, mental, and social well-being. Like social class, an individual's health can be measured in many different ways, depending on the needs and preferences of the researcher. Researchers may measure self-reported health, medical diagnoses, number or frequency of medical visits, number of work days missed due to illness, receipt of government disability payments, and many more.

The goal of this exercise is to explore the ways in which health status, health care access, and health care utilization differ between social classes. Crosstabulation will be used.

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Publisher:
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
Pub. Date:
2009-04-16

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