In this chapter, we present health as an intersection between biology and society, and between medical/biological science and sociology. We discuss the examples of health inequalities according to socioeconomic status (SES), race and gender, before considering in more detail from a life course perspective the causal direction between SES and health. Our empirical analysis investigates the explanatory power of social causation and health selection, using retrospective survey data from ten European countries (SHARELIFE), and structural equations models in a cross-lagged panel design. Between childhood and adulthood both mechanisms seem equally important, but in older ages, social causation is much more important than health selection. The contribution of both mechanisms to health inequality illustrates the co-evolution of social and biological factors in the human life course.
|Title of host publication||The Palgrave Handbook of Biology and Society|
|Editors||Maurizio Meloni, John Cromby, Des Fitzgerald, Stephanie Lloyd|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||27|
|Publication status||Published - 31 Mar 2018|