Social inequality in health

Social inequality is a classic subject in sociology. Social inequalities are systemic, permanent, and socially constructed inequalities in the distribution of wealth and burdens among groups of people characterised by different social variables such as class, gender and ethnicity.

Social inequalities in health encompass systemic differences in health conditions throughout the social hierarchy. The research area ‘Social Inequalities in Health’ aims at identifying the underlying mechanisms resulting in these inequalities. This research area has a group in comparative health research which has activities connected to the NTNU strategic research area NTNU health, European Social Survey, South African Social Attitudes Survey, and the US-based health survey General Social Survey. The research group collaborates with UNICEF, and has the objective of identifying new approaches, and methods and concepts in this field. Health and physical activity is also a part of the research area social inequality.

European health surveys indicate that a lack of physical activity is one of the major health challenges in Europe. The research in NTNU’s research area HEVET emphasises the importance of health work promoting physical activity and welfare, and inhibiting social inequality. Development of knowledge directed towards promoting health, prevention of disease and empowerment, is also crucial. The research groups’ efforts enhance multidisciplinary cooperation and collaboration with larger research groups both at the NTNU, national and international levels.