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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


LOMBARDI, Cintia et al. The operationalization of the concept of social class in epidemiological studies. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1988, vol.22, n.4, pp.253-265. ISSN 1518-8787.

The development of an operational classification of the Marxist concept of social class that could be used in epidemiological studies is attempted. Although such a classification will necessarily be restricted to the economic dimension of the concept, and leave aside its ideological and legal-political components, it is believed that it may lead to a better understanding of the distribution of ill-health in a given population. Two classifications are described - that developed in Ribeirão Preto, S. Paulo (Brazil), and a new classification based on work done in Mexico. These are compared in terms of how closely associated they are with the patterns of growth of 5,384 young children in the city of Pelotas in Southern Brazil. It is concluded that the proposed classification has greater power of discrimination in terms of child growth than that previously proposed.

Keywords : Social class; Epidemiologic methods; Health surveys; Growth; Child.

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