Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
The relevance of objective and subjective social position for self-rated health: A combined approach for the Swedish context
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
2012 (English)In: Social Indicators Research, ISSN 0303-8300, E-ISSN 1573-0921, Vol. 111, no 1, 161-173 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The study investigates the health effects of subjective class position stratified by objective social position. Four types of subjective class were analysed separately for individuals with manual or non-manual occupational background. The cross-sectionalanalysis is based on the Swedish Level-of-Living Survey from 2000 and includes 4,139 individuals. The dataset comprises information on perceived class affinity and occupational position that was combined to conduct logistic regression models on self-rated health. An inverse relationship between self-rated health and the eight combinations of objective and subjective social position was found. Lower socio-economic position was associated with poor health. The largest adverse health effects were found for lower subjective social position in combination with lower occupational position. When the covariates education, father’s occupational position and income were added to the model, adverse effects on health remained only for females. Subjective social position helps to explain health inequalities. Substantial gender differences were found. It can be assumed that subjective class position captures a wide range of perceived inequalities and therefore complements the measure of occupational position.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 111, no 1, 161-173 p.
Keyword [en]
Subjective social position, Objective social position, Health inequalities, Self-rated health, Sweden
National Category
Health Sciences Sociology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-68940DOI: 10.1007/s11205-011-9988-1ISI: 000314338700008OAI: diva2:474122
Available from: 2012-01-09 Created: 2012-01-09 Last updated: 2014-04-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Others’ income, one’s own fate: How income inequality, relative social position and social comparisons contribute to disparities in health
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Others’ income, one’s own fate: How income inequality, relative social position and social comparisons contribute to disparities in health
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis is to contribute to a greater understanding of how social inequalities in health evolve causally and to explore the missing links between social position and health in different social and economic contexts.

A premise in the thesis is that in affluent societies, not only material aspects and purchasing power linked to income and social positions are important explanations for the health of individuals, but also the relative socio-economic standards in society. The concept of relative income position was used to explore this notion across time and country contexts: A comparison of income-related health inequalities between the different welfare contexts of Sweden and Germany showed similar magnitudes in poor health. When exploring the role of absolute and relative income changes over time in Sweden, income volatility was found to influence individuals’ health.

Another aim was to explore the specific social mechanisms reflecting intra- and interpersonal social comparisons and their role for health. Subjective measures of social position were found to capture non-material aspects of social positions. Self-rated class affinity revealed strong associations with health, particularly for women. Income satisfaction, predicting mortality, was shown to be a measure that accounts for internalized reference standards regarded as meaningful by individuals.

Conceptually, the used subjective measures capture aspects of social comparisons and relative deprivation and further suggest that not the material dimension of social position alone matters for health. It is also shown that income satisfaction operates as a mediator between income position and mortality. Subjective measures such as income satisfaction and class affinity provide a plausible link in the understanding of how social inequality entails persistent effects on health and mortality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, 2014. 74 p.
Health Equity Studies, ISSN 1651-5390 ; 19
Social inequality, health, income, subjective social position, income satisfaction, relative deprivation, Sweden, Germany
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102669 (URN)978-91-7447-868-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-05-22, Willam-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-04-29 Created: 2014-04-14 Last updated: 2014-04-23Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Miething, Alexander
By organisation
Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS)
In the same journal
Social Indicators Research
Health SciencesSociology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 153 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link