week 3 notes

  • 4 months ago
  • 10
files (1)


Socioeconmic Status and Health

A person's socioeconomic status is linked to their health.

Society is stratified into social classes. These social classes are linked to the health of individuals and the health of communities.

A person's socioeconmic status is made up of a number of things usually comprised of some combination of a person's income, educational level, occupation, and occupational prestige or status.

Higher social classes have higher incomes, higher levels of education, and are employed in occupations that hold higher prestige. Lower social classes have lower incomes, lower levels of education and are employed in occupations with lower prestige or are unemployed.

If you are a student studying sociology, you may be familiar with the concept of socioeconomic status. If you are unfamiliar with this idea, please familiarize yourself by watching the videos below from Crash Course Sociology.

Please familiarize yourself with the concept of social class in the US before moving on to the next section.


Reading 1:

Barr Chapter 3: The Relationship Between Socioeconomic Status and Health or 'They Call it Poor Health for a Reason'

Now that you have spent time learning about social class and socioeconomic status in the United States from the Crash Course videos, it is now time to learn about how this impacts health, illness and death.

Chapter 3 in the Barr book goes into detail about why people with lower socioeconomic status have higher morbidity and mortality rates. Said another way, they are more vulnerable to disease and are more prone to early death.

In the chapter, I want you to be focusing on understanding the following terms and concepts.

· Definition of socioeconomic status

· Critique of socioeconomic definitions

· The role of race in defining socioeconomic status

· Mechanisms by which social class impacts health

· Role of time preferences in health

· Role of self-efficacy in health

· Role of "social anomie" in health

· Impact of moving social classes on health

Please watch video on Youtube

1. Social Stratification: Crash Course Sociology #21

2.Why is there Social Stratification?: Crash Course Sociology #22

2. Social Stratification in the US: Crash Course Sociology #23

There are two textbooks required for this class:

Health Disparities in the United States: Social Class, Race, Ethnicity, and the Social Determinants of Health. By Donald Barr 3rd edition.

An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take it Back by Elisabeth Rosenthal

I prefer that you use the 3rd edition of the Barr book because it has more updated statistics, but if supply chain issues or affordability issues are in play, please feel free to use the 2nd edition for the entire semester. The extra readings and videos will complement the book and make sure we are all up to date on the content. 

Answer the Guiding Questions below:

Guiding Questions:

What are the elements of socioeconomic status (SES)?

What are the causes of social stratification?

How should we measure socioeconomic status?

Why would a person’s SES affect their health?