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Moving Towards a Better Understanding of Socioeconomic Inequalities in Preventive Health Care Use: A Life Course Perspective

Sarah Missinne
Datos fuente
A Life Course Perspective on Health Trajectories and Transitions Volume 4 of the series Life Course Research and Social Policies pp 111-131
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Publicado en ODS
The aim of this book chapter is to outline how the life course perspective can move forward the debate on socioeconomic inequalities in preventive health care use. Recent theoretical developments in medical sociology, including health lifestyle theory and cultural health capital theory, have implicitly encapsulated a longer-term view of an individual’s life, in order to develop a better understanding of the social causes of good health and conversely illness. I will elaborate more explicitly on how the five central principles of the life course perspective apply to preventive health care use, using the empirical example of mammography screening. Central and unanswered questions pertain to (i) the life stages that are important in the development of cultural health capital or a healthy lifestyle (life-span development); (ii) the temporality of socioeconomic inequalities in preventive health care (timing); (iii) the impact of different socialization contexts for healthy lifestyles or cultural health capital (structure-agency debate); (iv) the change in preventive health care use across policy implementations (time and place); and (v) the role of significant others for health care use (linked lives).
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