This presentation offers an introduction into the sociological concept of cultural capital and its application to health inequalities. Propositions derived from Bourdieu’s theory on capital interplay and the reproduction of social inequality are introduced and linked to current issues on the production and re-production of health inequalities. The discussion will also examine ways to operationalize cultural capital within empirical health research and potential applications of the approach for health promotion interventions.
Thomas Abel is a Medical Sociologist and Professor for Health Research at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine of the University of Bern, Switzerland. He is chair of the division of Social and Behavioural Health Research. Applying a structure-agency perspective, his major research program addresses issues of social stratification and inequalities in health and health behaviours. His academic degrees include a Habilitiation at the Philipps-University (Dept. of Medicine, 1993), a PhD from the University of Illinois (Dept. of Sociology) in 1989, a Master’s (1980) and a Dr.Philosophy (1984) degree from the Justus Liebig-University (Dept. of Sports Science). He has been a Visiting Professor at Université de Montréal in 2005 (Dépt. de médecine sociale et préventive) and is currently a Visiting Professor at UBC Vancouver (Dept. of Sociology).
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