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Book part
Publication date: 14 August 2014

Sigrun Olafsdottir, Jason Beckfield and Elyas Bakhtiari

Research on health care disparities is making important descriptive and analytical strides, and the issue of disparities has gained the attention of policymakers in the…

Abstract

Purpose

Research on health care disparities is making important descriptive and analytical strides, and the issue of disparities has gained the attention of policymakers in the United States, other nation-states, and international organizations. Still, disparities research scholarship remains US-centric and too rarely takes a cross-national comparative approach to answering its questions. The US-centricity of disparities research has fostered a fixation on race and ethnicity that, although essential to understanding health disparities in the United States, has truncated the range of questions that researchers investigate. In this chapter, we make a case for comparative research that highlights its ability to identify the institutional factors that may affect disparities.

Methodology/approach

We discuss the central methodological challenges to comparative research. After describing current solutions to such problems, we use data from the World Values Survey to show the impact of key social fault lines on self-assessed health in Europe and the United States.

Findings

The negative impact of socioeconomic status (SES) on health is more generalizable across context, than the impact of race/ethnicity or gender.

Research limitations/implications

Our analysis includes a limited number of countries and relies on one measure of health.

Originality/value of chapter

The chapter represents a first step in a research agenda to understand health inequalities within and across societies.

Details

Social Determinants, Health Disparities and Linkages to Health and Health Care
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-588-3

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 16 July 2015

Sara Shostak and Jason Beckfield

This chapter compares interdisciplinary research that engages genomic science from economics, political science, and sociology. It describes, compares, and evaluates…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter compares interdisciplinary research that engages genomic science from economics, political science, and sociology. It describes, compares, and evaluates concepts and research findings from new and rapidly developing research fields, and develops a conceptual taxonomy of the social environment.

Methodology/approach

A selection of programmatic and empirical articles, published mostly since 2008 in leading economics, political science, and sociology journals, were analyzed according to (a) the relationship they pose between their discipline and genomic science, (b) the specific empirical contributions they make to disciplinary research questions, and (c) their conceptualization of the “social environment” as it informs the central problematique of current inquiry: gene-environment interaction.

Findings

While all three of the social science disciplines reviewed engage genomic science, economics and political science tend to engage genomics on its own terms, and develop genomic explanations of economic and political behavior. In contrast, sociologists develop arguments that for genomic science to advance, the “environment” in gene-environment interaction needs better theorization and measurement. We develop an approach to the environment that treats it as a set of measurable institutional (rule-like) arrangements, which take the forms of neighborhoods, families, schools, nations, states, and cultures.

Research/implications

Interdisciplinary research that combines insights from the social sciences and genomic science should develop and apply a richer array of concepts and measures if gene-environment research – including epigenetics – is to advance.

Originality/value

This chapter provides a critical review and redirection of three rapidly developing areas of interdisciplinary research on gene-environment interaction and epigenetics.

Details

Genetics, Health and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-581-4

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 19 June 2011

Sanjay Pinto and Jason Beckfield

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to show how patterns of union organization vary over time and across countries in the economically advanced world, with a focus on…

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to show how patterns of union organization vary over time and across countries in the economically advanced world, with a focus on Europe.

Methodology/approach – The data analysis uses the “Institutional Characteristics of Trade Unions, Wage Setting, State Intervention and Social Pacts” dataset to report on patterns of union density in 16 economically advanced countries between 1960 and 2006 and draws on the European Social Survey to show how union membership is segmented by gender, educational attainment and economic sector in 13 European economically advanced countries during the 2000s.

Findings – The chapter demonstrates more clearly than in previous work that trends of decline in union density cut across national varieties of capitalism; on average, the trends look quite similar in Anglo-American liberal countries and the coordinated countries of Continental Europe. On the other hand, cross-national differences are still important, as evident in the fact that the Nordic countries have not experienced substantial declines.

Originality/value – Current work in political economy is marked by a dividing line between those who see change over time or cross-country differences as the primary axis of variation in contemporary capitalism. Some focus on differences between periods of embedded liberalism and neoliberalism, while others key on distinctions between liberal and coordinated national models. This chapter advocates an integrated approach that captures more fully the ways in which forms of organization in different institutional domains vary across both time and space.

Details

Comparing European Workers Part B: Policies and Institutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-931-9

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 16 July 2015

Abstract

Details

Genetics, Health and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-581-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Wade T. Roberts

Many scholars and practitioners consider development to be as much an institutional and organizational phenomenon as it is an economic one. Among other elements, civil…

Abstract

Many scholars and practitioners consider development to be as much an institutional and organizational phenomenon as it is an economic one. Among other elements, civil society is a key determinant of a country’s level of social capital. Important links appear to exist between a robust associational milieu and the effective operation of democracy. However, the role of civil society organizations in human development has only recently gained attention.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 25 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 19 June 2011

Abstract

Details

Comparing European Workers Part B: Policies and Institutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-931-9

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Book part
Publication date: 4 September 2013

Abstract

Details

Social Determinants, Health Disparities and Linkages to Health and Health Care
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-588-3

To view the access options for this content please click here

Abstract

Details

Genetics, Health and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-581-4

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Book part
Publication date: 19 May 2009

Abstract

Details

Economic Sociology of Work
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-368-2

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