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Patterns and conditions of health lifestyles in the United States and West Germany

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Title: Patterns and conditions of health lifestyles in the United States and West Germany
Author(s): Abel, Thomas
Department / Program: Sociology
Discipline: Sociology
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Health Sciences, Public Health Sociology, Public and Social Welfare Education, Health
Abstract: The present project explores patterns of lifestyle that express people's health conduct. A comparative approach is taken that utilizes cross-national data from the U.S. and West Germany. The study seeks to contribute to the theoretical as well as empirical knowledge on modern lifestyles in general and health lifestyles in particular. At the beginning a comprehensive definition of health lifestyle is introduced. Next, a theoretical frame is provided that links basic stratification and consumer culture theories with health lifestyles. Selected lines of thought from M. Weber, Th. Veblen and C. W. Mills are drawn together for their contribution to a socio-structural understanding of lifestyle. Those classical ideas are then related to contemporary theories on consumer culture, lifestyle, and body management as explicated by M. Featherstone, P. Bourdieu and B. S. Turner.In the second part of the study a review of empirical health conduct studies in the U.S. and West Germany serves to prepare the present empirical explorations into health lifestyle patterns and conditions. Comparative data analysis is divided into three parts: (1) Construction of cross-nationally equivalent lifestyle measures; (2) Identification of distinct health lifestyle patterns and (3) prediction of health lifestyle through social condition variables. Three statistical methods, namely Principle Components Analysis, Divisive Cluster Techniques and Logistic Regression Modelling is integrated to allow comprehensive empirical investigation. Findings revealed that, applying equivalent measures, similar patterns of health lifestyle can be observed in West Germany and the U.S. As for issues of social lifestyle conditions the present results indicate that traditional stratification measures income, education, and occupational prestige show no significant effects when predicting health lifestyles for the German sample, and only weak influences for the U.S. sample.The relevance of the present findings for sociological theory is indicated and methodological implications are discussed.
Issue Date: 1989
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/19475
Rights Information: Copyright 1989 Abel, Thomas
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI8924751
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI8924751
 

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