Moving Beyond ‘Socioeconomic Status’ to Social Class Processes in Public Health

Presenter:Prins Headshot
Seth Prins, PhD, MPH
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Sociomedical Sciences and
Department of Social Work, Columbia University


It is well known that there is a “social gradient of health,” or an inverse relationship between socioeconomic status and physical and mental health. However, most public health professionals conceptualize socioeconomic status using a stratificationist theoretical approach, but this neglects critical factors. In this webinar, Dr. Seth Prins discusses two other relational theoretical approaches to conceptualizing socioeconomic status: Weberian and Marxian. He discusses how these approaches impact our understanding of socioeconomic status and class on mental health, including depression and anxiety, and some of their mechanisms and causal pathways. Dr. Prins also describes epidemiological research into mental health and and how these social determinants of health manifest in the modern workforce.

Course Objectives:

  • To distinguish between socioeconomic status and class
  • To describe stratificationist, Weberian, and Marxian theoretical approaches to social inequality
  • To describe what it means to apply a class perspective to psychiatric epidemiology research
  • To explain the impact of social inequality on mental health from multiple theoretical perspectives

Continuing Education: 1.0 CPH, 1.0 CHES

Council on Linkages Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals (2014 Version)

  • Primary Competency Domain: Analysis and Assessment/Program Planning and Policy Development
  • Specific competencies:

1A1, 1A2, 1A3, 1A4, 1A5, 1A6, 1A7, 1A9, 1A10, 1A11, 1A13, 1B1, 1B2, 1B3, 1B4, 1B5, 1B6, 1B7, 1B9, 1B10, 1B12, 1C1, 1C2, 1C4, 1C5, 1C6, 1C7, 1C9,  2A5, 2A6, 3A2, 3A5, 3B2, 3B5, 3C2, 3C5, 5A2, 5A3, 5A7, 5B3, 5B10, 5C3, 6A1, 6A3, 6A4, 6A5, 6A8, 6B1, 6B3, 6B5, 6B9, 6C1, 6C5, 6C6, 6C9, 7A1, 8A1, 8A2, 8A3, 8A5, 8A8, 8B1, 8B2, 8B5, 8C1

Click on the appropriate button to begin.

I do not work for a State or Local Health Department in NYS.

I do work for a State or a Local Health Department in NYS.

If you are employed by NYS or a local health department in NYS, we recommend that you register for this course through the NYS Department of Health Learning Management System (DOH LMS).