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Occupation and (social) class refer to different social mechanisms
  1. Carles Muntaner1,2,
  2. Edwin Ng2,
  3. Joan Benach3,
  4. Haejoo Chung4
  1. 1Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  2. 2Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  3. 3Health Inequalities Research Group (GREDS), Employment Conditions Network (EMCONET), CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Department of Experimental Sciences and Health, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain
  4. 4Department of Healthcare Management, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  1. Correspondence to Dr Haejoo Chung, Department of Healthcare Management, Korea University College of Health Sciences, 704 Justice Building, Jeongneung 3-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-703, Republic of Korea; hpolicy{at}

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The recent paper by Ferrario et al 1 as well as the follow-up comment by Kawada2 contributes to a persisting confusion in occupational and social epidemiology, namely, the conflation of the constructs of ‘occupation’ and ‘social class’. Clarifying this confusion begins with acknowledging that occupation and social class are two distinct constructs that lead to different social stratification hypotheses, social mechanisms and intervention strategies with regard to health inequalities.3–5 While occupation refers to the technical aspects of work (eg, a taxicab driver transports passengers between locations, a lawyer practices the system of rules of conduct established by society), social class refers mostly to …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.