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Concept: Relations of production


In Spain, the new National Classification of Occupations (Clasificación Nacional de Ocupaciones [CNO-2011]) is substantially different to the 1994 edition, and requires adaptation of occupational social classes for use in studies of health inequalities. This article presents two proposals to measure social class: the new classification of occupational social class (CSO-SEE12), based on the CNO-2011 and a neo-Weberian perspective, and a social class classification based on a neo-Marxist approach. The CSO-SEE12 is the result of a detailed review of the CNO-2011 codes. In contrast, the neo-Marxist classification is derived from variables related to capital and organizational and skill assets. The proposed CSO-SEE12 consists of seven classes that can be grouped into a smaller number of categories according to study needs. The neo-Marxist classification consists of 12 categories in which home owners are divided into three categories based on capital goods and employed persons are grouped into nine categories composed of organizational and skill assets. These proposals are complemented by a proposed classification of educational level that integrates the various curricula in Spain and provides correspondences with the International Standard Classification of Education.

Concepts: Max Weber, Relations of production, Marxism, Social class, Sociology


Does being from a higher social class lead a person to engage in more or less prosocial behavior? Psychological research has recently provided support for a negative effect of social class on prosocial behavior. However, research outside the field of psychology has mainly found evidence for positive or u-shaped relations. In the present research, we therefore thoroughly examined the effect of social class on prosocial behavior. Moreover, we analyzed whether this effect was moderated by the kind of observed prosocial behavior, the observed country, and the measure of social class. Across eight studies with large and representative international samples, we predominantly found positive effects of social class on prosociality: Higher class individuals were more likely to make a charitable donation and contribute a higher percentage of their family income to charity (32,090 ≥ N ≥ 3,957; Studies 1-3), were more likely to volunteer (37,136 ≥N ≥ 3,964; Studies 4-6), were more helpful (N = 3,902; Study 7), and were more trusting and trustworthy in an economic game when interacting with a stranger (N = 1,421; Study 8) than lower social class individuals. Although the effects of social class varied somewhat across the kinds of prosocial behavior, countries, and measures of social class, under no condition did we find the negative effect that would have been expected on the basis of previous results reported in the psychological literature. Possible explanations for this divergence and implications are discussed.

Concepts: Class consciousness, Relations of production, Household income in the United States, Working class, Social class, Psychology, Sociology


In the United States, disparities in health literacy parallel disparities in health outcomes. Our research contributes to how diverse indicators of social inequalities (i.e., objective social class, relational social class, and social resources) contribute to understanding disparities in health literacy.

Concepts: Relations of production, Social mobility, Puritan, Literacy, Sociology, Economic inequality, Health literacy, United States


This study explored how adult social class and social mobility between parental and own adult social class is related to psychiatric disorder.

Concepts: Social mobility, Relations of production, Pierre Bourdieu, Achieved status, Social stratification, Mental disorder, Social class, Sociology


It is well known that sex differences in analgesic prescription are not merely the logical result of greater prevalence of pain in women, since this therapeutic variability is related to factors such as educational level or social class. This study aims to analyse the relationship between analgesic prescription and gender development in different regions of Spain.

Concepts: Female, Relations of production, Male, Sex, Learning, Sexual dimorphism, Sociology, Gender


To document the prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of time spent cooking by adults in the 2005 UK Time-Use Survey. Respondents reported their main activities, in 10 minute slots, throughout one 24 hour period. Activities were coded into 30 pre-defined codes, including ‘cooking, washing up’. Four measures of time spent cooking were calculated: any time spent cooking, 30 continuous minutes spent cooking, total time spent cooking, and longest continuous time spent cooking. Socio-demographic correlates were: age, employment, social class, education, and number of adults and children in the household. Analyses were stratified by gender. Data from 4214 participants were included. 85% of women and 60% of men spent any time cooking; 60% of women and 33% of men spent 30 continuous minutes cooking. Amongst women, older age, not being in employment, lower social class, greater education, and living with other adults or children were positively associated with time cooking. Few differences in time spent cooking were seen in men. Socio-economic differences in time spent cooking may have been overstated as a determinant of socio-economic differences in diet, overweight and obesity. Gender was a stronger determinant of time spent cooking than other socio-demographic variables.

Concepts: Gender, Relations of production, Obesity, Nutrition, Time use research, Social class, Time, Sociology


Social rank in human and nonhuman animals is signaled by a variety of behaviors and phenotypes. In this research, we examined whether a sartorial manipulation of social class would engender class-consistent behavior and physiology during dyadic interactions. Male participants donned clothing that signaled either upper-class (business-suit) or lower-class (sweatpants) rank prior to engaging in a modified negotiation task with another participant unaware of the clothing manipulation. Wearing upper-class, compared to lower-class, clothing induced dominance-measured in terms of negotiation profits and concessions, and testosterone levels-in participants. Upper-class clothing also elicited increased vigilance in perceivers of these symbols: Relative to perceiving lower-class symbols, perceiving upper-class symbols increased vagal withdrawal, reduced perceptions of social power, and catalyzed physiological contagion such that perceivers' sympathetic nervous system activation followed that of the upper-class target. Discussion focuses on the dyadic process of social class signaling within social interactions. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Relations of production, Social class, Class consciousness, Behavior, Working class, Sociology, Psychology


Social class stereotypes support inequality through various routes: ambivalent content, early appearance in children, achievement consequences, institutionalization in education, appearance in cross-class social encounters, and prevalence in the most unequal societies. Class-stereotype content is ambivalent, describing lower-SES people both negatively (less competent, less human, more objectified), and sometimes positively, perhaps warmer than upper-SES people. Children acquire the wealth aspects of class stereotypes early, which become more nuanced with development. In school, class stereotypes advantage higher-SES students, and educational contexts institutionalize social-class distinctions. Beyond school, well-intentioned face-to-face encounters ironically draw on stereotypes to reinforce the alleged competence of higher-status people and sometimes the alleged warmth of lower-status people. Countries with more inequality show more of these ambivalent stereotypes of both lower-SES and higher-SES people. At a variety of levels and life stages, social-class stereotypes reinforce inequality, but constructive contact can undermine them; future efforts need to address high-status privilege and to query more heterogeneous samples.

Concepts: Working class, Social class, Institutionalisation, Competence, Inequality, Relations of production, Education, Sociology


Tackling social inequalities in health has been a priority for recent UK governments. We used repeated national cross-sectional data for 155,311 participants (aged ≥16 years) in the Health Survey of England to examine trends in socio-economic inequalities in self-reported health over a recent period of sustained policy focus by successive UK governments aimed at tackling social inequalities in health. Socio-economic related inequalities in self-reported health were estimated using the Registrar General’s occupational classification (1996-2009), and for sensitivity analyses, the National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification (NS-SEC; 2001-2011). Multi-level regression was used to evaluate time trends in General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) scores and bad or very bad self-assessed health (SAH), as well as EQ-5D utility scores. The study found that the probability of reporting GHQ-12 scores ≥4 and ≥ 1 was higher in those from lower social classes, and decreased for all social classes between 1997 and 2009. For SAH, the probability of reporting bad or very bad health remained relatively constant for social class I (professional) [0.028 (95%CI: 0.026, 0.029) in 1996 compared to 0.028 (95%CI: 0.024, 0.032) in 2009], but increased in lower social classes, with the greatest increase observed amongst those in social class V (unskilled manual) [0.089 (95%CI: 0.085, 0.093) in 1996 compared to 0.155 (95%CI: 0.141, 0.168) in 2009]. EQ-5D utility scores were lower for those in lower social classes, but remained comparable across survey years. In sensitivity analyses using the NS-SEC, health outcomes improved from 2001 to 2011, with no evidence of widening socio-economic inequalities. Our findings suggest that socio-economic inequalities have persisted, with evidence of widening for some adverse self-reported health outcomes.

Concepts: Social classes, Econometrics, NRS social grade, National Statistics Socio-economic Classification, Relations of production, Cross-sectional analysis, Sociology, Social class


Adverse early life experience and development may have long-term health consequences, but later environmental conditions may perhaps protect against the effects of such early life adversities. The aim was to investigate whether cause-specific and overall mortality rates among adoptees are associated with the age at which they were transferred to the adoptive family and whether the social class of the adoptive family modifies this association.

Concepts: Max Weber, Epidemiology, Family law, Relations of production, Sociology, Adoption