Aims: To examine the effects of Neo-Marxian social class (i.e. measured as relations of control over productive assets) and potential mediators such as labour-market position, work organization, material deprivation and health behaviours upon mortality in Barcelona, Spain. Methods: Longitudinal data from the Barcelona 2000 Health Interview Survey (n = 7526) with follow-up interviews through the municipal census in 2008 (95.97% response rate) were used. Using data on relations of property, organizational power, and education, social classes were grouped according to Wright’s scheme: capitalists, petit bourgeoisie, managers, supervisors, and skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers. Results: Social class, measured as relations of control over productive assets, is an important predictor of mortality among working-class positions for men but not for women. Workers (hazard ratio 1.60, 95% confidence interval 1.10—2.35), managers and small employers had a higher risk of death than capitalists. Conclusions: The extensive use of conventional gradient measures of social stratification has neglected sociological measurements of social class conceptualized as relations of control over productive assets. This concept is capable of explaining how social inequalities are generated. To confirm the protective effect of the capitalist class position and the ‘‘contradictory class location hypothesis’’, additional efforts are needed to properly measure class among low-level supervisors, capitalists, managers, and small employers.
- Epidemiological methods
- social class
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health