Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and hosted by Green College’s Population Health lecture series.  Health is a societal resource to be produced in everyday life based on the (unequally distributed) resources people have individually and collectively available. In regard to such resources, economic and social forms of capital have been studied extensively, whereas the effects of cultural capital are much less well understood. Using examples from an ongoing health survey in Switzerland, Thomas Abel will argue that particularly in societies with comprehensive social security systems in place, people’s cultural capital may occupy a central role in the production of health. He will present examples of measures of cultural and social capital currently tested in an ongoing health survey in Switzerland and address questions on measurement and/or issues on theoretical-conceptual challenges around cultural capital and health. Thomas Abel is a visiting Professor at UBC Vancouver. He joined UBC in March and will continue his research until October 31st, 2012. Thomas is a Medical Sociologist and Full Professor for Health Research at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine of the University of Bern, Switzerland (http://www.ispm.ch ). In Bern he is chair of the division of Social and Behavioural Health Research. Applying a structure-agency perspective, Thomas Abel’s major research program addresses issues of social stratification and inequalities in health and health behaviours.

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