Classism and socioeconomic inequalities in health

Project leaders: Prof.  Hans Bosma and Dr Annemarie Koster
Researcher: Audrey Simons, PhD candidate
Period: 2012 – 2017

The PhD project is heading towards a better understanding of the relevance of being looked down upon for the worse health status of people in lower socioeconomic groups. The context in which we live is increasingly characterised by a meritocratic ideology and increased calls upon the individual responsibility. The downside might be a heightened stigmatisation of people who do or cannot take up the (apparently) many opportunities for upward mobility. We have found quantitative and qualitative support for a substantial prevalence of classism, also in the Netherlands and for the negative consequences of experiencing stigmatisation for the health status in lower socioeconomic groups. The project is still ongoing and will be exploring the differential influence of (European) country characteristics (e.g. opportunities for social mobility). The project is about inequalities and social exclusion and perhaps informs us also about why it appears so difficult to tackle health inequalities.