Journal article

Non-human matter, health disparities and a thousand tiny dis/advantages

Nick Fox, Katie Powell



The materialist thread within health sociology has observed a clear gradient linking inequalities in health with measures of social class and poverty. More recently, Bourdieu's approach to social class complemented the 'economic capital' of Marxist analysis with 'symbolic' capitals such as 'social' and 'cultural'. However, efforts to assess how symbolic capital interacts with health disparities reveal complex or contradictory effects. In this paper, we re-materialise the study of health and social position via a new materialist focus on the interactions between humans and non-human matter (NHM). We analyse empirical data to disclose the range of human/NHM interactions in daily life, and how ..

View full abstract


Funding Acknowledgements

The original studies upon which this paper is based was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care, Yorkshire and Humber. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.