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MEDIATORS OF HEALTH INEQUALITIES IN EUROPE: SOCIAL CAPITAL OF PERSONAL NETWORK AND GENERALIZED TRUST

Nina Rusinova (nrusinova@gmail.com), Viacheslav Safronov (vsafronov@list.ru)

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

Citation: Rusinova., Safronov V. (2020) Mediatory strukturnykh neravenstv v zdorov'ye v stranakh Yevropy: sotsial'nyy kapital blizkogo okruzheniya i doveriya lyudyam [Mediators of health inequalities in Europe: social capital of personal network and generalized trust]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 23(1): 35–64 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2020.23.1.2

Abstract. SES inequalities in health, according to theoretical assumptions that have not yet been conclusively substantiated in empirical analysis, can be partly explained by the mediating effects of social capital. It has been suggested that the support of close people can play a greater mediating role in countries with a weak social state, and general trust in other people — where strong social policies are in place. This assumption was verified using survey data for 27 countries from the European social survey (ESS), statistics for these countries on public health expenditure, and a two- level analysis of the mediation effects. The results confirm that health in Europe is unevenly distributed across socio-economic structure –it is usually much worse in the lower, than higher social strata. Social capital plays an important role in maintaining good health and mediates structural differences in health. The study showed that the mediating effects of the social capital of the close people support are more strongly manifested in countries where public spending on health was modest by European standards. However, in social democracies with high levels of these spending, the mediating effects of general trust in other people are becoming apparent.

Keywords: SES inequalities in health, mediating effects, social capital, support from close people, trust to the majority of people, comparison in European countries, European Social Survey.

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