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Sociology   >   Health Inequalities

Defining and Measuring Inequality

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Health Inequalities

In this course, Professor Clare Bambra (Newcastle University) explores health inequalities in the United Kingdom. In the first lecture, we think about how to define and measure social class, regional and ethnic inequalities. In the second lecture, we examine the evidence for health inequalities along these lines. Next, we look at three sets of explanations for health inequality – the material and social determinants approach, health behaviours theory, and psychosocial theory. In the fourth and final lecture, we conclude by considering the role of healthcare policy in shaping inequalities in the UK, notably through Julian Tudor Hart’s notion of the “inverse care law”.

Defining and Measuring Inequality

In this lecture, we think about ways of defining and measuring inequality, focusing in particular on: (i) social class, including the Registrar General’s Classification (1911), the Socio-Economic Classification (2008), and the Great British Class Survey (2013); (ii) geographical, such as at neighbourhood, regional and international levels; (iii) ethnicity, most notably the BAME classification used in government statistics, and critiques of this; (iv) the idea of intersectionality – that all of these factors interact to shape inequality.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Bambra, C. (2022, March 23). Health Inequalities - Defining and Measuring Inequality [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Bambra, C. "Health Inequalities – Defining and Measuring Inequality." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Mar 2022,

Image Credits


Prof.  Clare Bambra

Prof. Clare Bambra

Newcastle University