Article Information


Saniya Boyarkina (, Daria Khodorenko

The Sociological Institute of the RAS – Branch of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Citation: Boyarkina S., Khodorenko D. (2020) Teoreticheskiye podkhody k izucheniyu faktorov formirovaniya i vosproizvodstva statusnykh neravenstv v zdorov'ye [Theoretical approaches to studying factors of status inequalities in health]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 23(5): 41–72 (in Russian).

Abstract. The article is dedicated to studying the theoretical concepts of status inequalities in health from the moment of their origin to the present day, their prerequisites and mutual influence, key provisions, analytical and explanatory models. The processes of static and dynamic research paradigms formation, their origins, conceptual foundations, and methodological differences are described. Problem of status inequalities in health is associated with the period of Western society’s industrialization, when changes in the structure of labor market were accompanied by increasing of urbanization and urban population density, social inequalities and infectious diseases mortality among representatives of financially deprived groups. The ongoing socio-epidemiological processes attract the attention of researchers, who had practical aim to ensure the safety of living environment. Development of scientific knowledge focused on the problems of individual and common living, leaded to formation of disciplinary-specific grounds for studying the causes of health inequalities. Over the past 40 years studying of status inequalities in health has been accompanied by better understanding of factors that affect health in various status groups and creating research methodology that supposed studying interactions between levels of social organization and mechanisms of individual social and psychological adaptation to social reality changes.

Keywords: theory of health sociology, social status, status inequalities in health, life path.


Adler N.E. et al. (1994) Socioeconomic status and health: the challenge of the gradient. American psychologist, 49(1): 15–24.

Adler N.E., Ostrove J.M. (1999) Socioeconomic status and health: what we know and what we don't. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 896(1): 3–15.

Adler N.E., Snibbe A.C. (2003) The role of psychosocial processes in explaining the gradient between socioeconomic status and health. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 12(4): 119–123.

Antonovsky A. (1984) The Sense of Coherence as a Determinant in Health. In: Matarazzo J.D. (ed.) Behavioral Health: A Handbook of Health Enhancement and Disease Prevention. New York: John Wiley: 114–129.

Barker R. (1968) Ecological psychology. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Ben-Shlomo Y., Kuh D. (2002) A life course approach to chronic disease epidemiology: conceptual models, empirical challenges and interdisciplinary perspectives. International Journal of Epidemiology, 31(2): 285–293.

Bergqvist K., Åberg Yngwe M., Lundberg O. (2013) Understanding the role of welfare state characteristics for health and inequalities — an analytical review. BMC Public Health, 13: 1234.

Berkman L, Syme S.L. (1979) Social networks, host resistance and mortality: a nine year follow-up study of Alameda County residents. American journal of Epidemiology, 109: 186–204.

Biglhol R., Bonita R., Kelstrem T. (1994) Osnovy epidemiologii [Basic epidemiology]. Geneva: Vsemirnaya organizaciya zdravoohraneniya (in Russian).

Black D., Morris J.N. et al. (1982) The Black Report (Report of the Working Group on Inequalities). London: Penguin.

Blinova M.S. (2011) Migracii naseleniya: podkhod sociologov Chikagskoj shkoly [Population migration: the approach of sociologists at the Chicago school]. Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta. Seriya 18. Sociologiya i politologiya, 44: 172–190 (in Russian).

Cannon W.B. (1932) The Wisdom of the Body. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

Case A., Fertig A., Paxson C. (2005) The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance. Journal Health Economics, 24: 365–389.

Cassel J. (1964) Social science theory as a source of hypotheses in epidemiological research. American Journal of Public Health and the Nation’s Health, 54( 9): 1482–1488. doi: 10.2105/ajph.54.9.1482.

Cockerham W.C., Rutten A., Abel T. (1997) Conceptualizing Contemporary Health Lifestyles: Moving Beyond Weber. The Sociological Quarterly, 38(2): 321–342.

Cohen S. et al. (2010) Childhood socioeconomic status and adult health. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1186(1): 37–55.

Corna L. M. (2013) A life course perspective on socioeconomic inequalities in health: a critical review of conceptual frameworks. Advances in life course research, 18(2):150–159.

Cutler D., Deaton A., Lleras-Muney A. (2006) The determinants of mortality. Journal of economic perspectives, 20(3): 97–120.

Dahl E., van der Wel K.A. (2012) Educational inequalities in health in European welfare states: a social expenditure approach. Social Science and Medicine, 81: 60–69.

Dannefer D. (2003) Cumulative advantage/disadvantage and the life course: Cross-fertilizing age and social science theory. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 58(6): S327-S337.

Doorslaer E., Wagstaff A., Rutten F. (1992) Equity in the finance and delivery of health care: an international perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Doyal L., Imogen P. (1979) The political economy of health. London: Pluto Press.

Dupre M.E. (2007) Educational differences in age-related patterns of disease: reconsidering the cumulative disadvantage and age-as-leveler hypotheses. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 48(1): 1–15.

Durkheim E. (1897) [1952; 2005] Suicide: a study in sociology. Paris: The Free Press.

Dyhouse C. (1978) Working-class mothers and infant mortality in England, 1895–1914. Journal of Social History, 12(2): 248–267.

Elder G.H. (1998) The life course as developmental theory. Child Development, 9(1): 1–12.

Elder G.H., Johnson M.K., Crosnoe R. (2003) The Emergence and Development of Life Course Theory. In: Mortimer J.T., Shanahan M.J. (ed.) Handbook of the Life Course. Boston: Springer.

Engel G.L. (1977) The need for a new medical model. Science, 196: 129–136.

Ferraro K.F., Shippee T.P. (2009) Aging and cumulative inequality: How does inequality get under the skin? The Gerontologist, 49(3): 333–343.

Frohlich K.L., Corin E., Potvin L. (2001) A theoretical proposal for the relationship between context and disease. Sociology of health & illness, 23(6): 776–797.

Gallo L.C, Matthews K.A. (2003) Understanding the association between socioeconomic status and physical health: Do negative emotions play a role? Psychological Bulletin, 129(1): 10–51.

Ganzha A.O., Zotov A.A. (2002) Gumanisticheskaya sociologiya Floriana Znaneckogo [Humanistic sociology of Florian Znanetsky]. Sotsiologicheskiye issledovaniya [Social research] 3: 112–120 (in Russian).

Gilbert N. (2009) The least generous welfare state? A case of blind empiricism. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis Research and Practice, 11(3): 355–367.

Heinz W.R., Marshall V.W. (eds.) (2003) Social Dynamics of the life course. Transitions, Institutions and Interrelations. London: Routledge.

Humphreys N.A. (1887) Class Mortality Statistics. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 50(2): 255–292.

Kitagawa E.M., Hauser P.M. (1973) Differential Mortality in the United States: A Study in Socioeconomic Epidemiology. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Kobasa S.C. (1979) Stressful life events, personality, and health: An inquiry into hardiness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37: 1–11. doi:

Korpi W., Palme J. (2007) The social citizenship indicator program (SCIP). General coding comments: 1–27.

Krieger N. (1994) Epidemiology and the web of causation: has anyone seen the spider? Social Science and Medicine, 39: 887–903.

Krieger N. (2001) Theories for social epidemiology in the 21st century: an ecosocial perspective. International Journal of Epidemiology, 30: 668–677.

Kuh D., Ben-Shlomo Y., Lynch J. et al. (2003) Power Life course epidemiology. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 57: 778–783.

Kunst A.E., Mackenbach J.P. (1994) International variation in the size of mortality differences associated with occupational status. International journal of epidemiology, 23(4): 742–750.

Lachman M.E., Weaver S.L. (1998) The sense of control as a moderator of social class differences in health and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(3): 763–773.

Leavell H.R. (1955) Сhronic disease and the behavioral sciences. Journal of chronic diseases, 2(1): 113–118.

Link B.G., Phelan J. (1995) Social conditions as fundamental causes of disease. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 51(Extra Issue): 80–94.

Link B.G., Phelan J.C. (1986) Editorial: understanding sociodemographic differences in health—the role of fundamental social causes. American Journal of Public Health, 86: 471–473.

Lynch J.W. et al. (2000) Income inequality and mortality: importance to health of individual income, psychosocial environment, or material conditions. British medical journal, 320(7243): 1200–1204.

Lynch J.W., Kaplan G. A., Shema S. J. (1997) Cumulative impact of sustained economic hardship on physical, cognitive, psychological, and social functioning. New England Journal of Medicine, 337(26): 1889–1895.

Lynch J.W., Smith G.D. (2005) A life course approach to chronic disease epidemiology. Annual Review of Public Health, 26: 1–35.

Lynch S.M. (2003) Cohort and life-course patterns in the relationship between education and health: A hierarchical approach. Demography, 40(2): 309–331.

Macintyre S. (1997) The Black Report and beyond what are the issues? Social science & medicine, 44(6): 723–745.

Mackenbach J.P., Kunst A.E. (1999) Socioeconomic inequalities in health in Europe. EUROHEALTH-LONDON, 5: 31–34.

Marks K. (2001) Kapital [Capital]. Vol. 1. Moscow: AST (in Russian).

Marmot M.G., Smith G.D., Stanfeld S. et al. (1991) Health inequalities among British civil servants: the Whitehall II study. Lancet, 1: 1387–1393.

Marmot M.G., Wilkinson R.G. (2001) Psychosocial and material pathways in the relation between income and health: a response to Lynch et al. British medical journal, 322(7296): 1233–1236.

Marshall V.W. (2011) Risk, vulnerability, and the life course. Lives working paper.

Marshall V.W., Tindale J.A. (1978) Notes for a Radical Gerontology. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 9(2): 163–175.

Matthews K.A., Gallo L.C., Taylor S.E. (2010) Are psychosocial factors mediators of socioeconomic status and health connections? A progress report and blueprint for the future. Annals of the New York Academy of sciences. Issue: The Biology of Disadvantage: 146–173.

Parsons T. (1951) Illness and the role of the physician: A sociological perspective. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 21(3): 452–460. 

Pearlin L.I. (1989) The sociological study of stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 30(3): 241–256.

Ross C.E., Wu C.L. (1996) Education, age, and the cumulative advantage in health. Journal of health and social behavior, 37(1): 104–120.

Rusinova N.L., Boyarkina S.I. (2019) Rol' social'nogo neravenstva i psihologicheskih resursov lichnosti v zabolevaemosti social'no znachimymi boleznyami v Rossii i stranah Evropy [The role of social inequality and psychological resources of the individual in the incidence of socially significant diseases in Russia and Europe]. Teleskop: zhurnal sotsiologicheskikh i marketingovykh issledovanij [Telescope: Journal of Sociological and Marketing Research], 5: 64–73 (in Russian).

Rusinova N.L., Safronov V.V. (2014) Znachenie social'nogo kapitala dlya zdorov'ya v stranah Evropy [The importance of social capital for health in Europe]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 17(3):112–133 (in Russian).

Searle G.R. (1976) Eugenics and politics in Britain, 1900–1914. Leyden: Noordhoff.

Smith J.P. (1999) Healthy bodies and thick wallets: the dual relationship between health and economic status. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 13:145–166.

Sorokin P.A. (1992) Chelovek. Civilizaciya. Obshchestvo [Human being. Civilization. Society]. Moscow: Politizdat (in Russian).

Surachman A. et al. (2019) Life course socioeconomic status, daily stressors, and daily well-being: Examining chain of risk models. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 74(1): 126–135.

Veblen T. (1984) Teoriya prazdnogo klassa [Theory of the leisure class]. Moscow: Progress (in Russian).

Virchow R. (1848) Report on the typhus epidemic in Upper Silesia.1848. In: Rather I.J. (ed.) Rudolph Virchow: Collected Essays on Public Health and Epidemiology. Canton, MA.: Science History Publications: 205–220.

Wilkinson R.G. (1997) Socioeconomic determinants of health: Health inequalities: relative or absolute material standards? British medical journal, 314(7080): 591–595.

Willson A.E. (2009). `Fundamental Causes’ of Health Disparities: A Comparative Analysis of Canada and the United States. International Sociology, 24(1): 93–113.