Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Social class in later lifePower, identity and lifestyle$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Marvin Formosa and Paul Higgs

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447300588

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447300588.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Class and health inequalities in later life

Class and health inequalities in later life

Chapter:
(p.113) Seven Class and health inequalities in later life
Source:
Social class in later life
Author(s):

Ian Rees Jones

Paul Higgs

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447300588.003.0007

For over sixty years significant research activity has addressed the extent to which the effects of social class over the life-course have determined or contributed to an individual's economic and social fate in old age. This has led to the elaboration and discussion of a whole host of conceptual and measurement issues among a growing body of epidemiological and social researchers. To these we must add, in light of the social changes and accompanying theoretical developments over the same period, questions about the viability of class as a means of understanding social relations and social inequality in contemporary society. This chapter interrogates these issues as they relate to the role of class in later life using the prism of health inequalities. In so doing, it will be argued that the wider implications of the emergence of a relatively lengthy post-working life have not been fully incorporated into studies of class and health in old age. This is a major lacuna given that the generations entering retirement today in affluent countries are precisely those who have experienced the social changes that have both increased prosperity and the questioning of the salience of class in wider society. Two key questions are raised: firstly, how best to describe and explain patterns of social class inequalities in health over the life course and secondly, what class means in later life and how it can be conceptualised in relation to a population that may have been out of the workforce for many decades.

Keywords:   social change, sociological theory, health inequalities, class, retirement

Policy Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.