Toward Some Fundamentals of Fundamental Causality: Socioeconomic Status and Health in the Routine Clinic Visit for Diabetes

  • Lutfey K
  • Freese J
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The concept of “fundamental causality” has gained increasing at- tention as a way of understanding the relationship between socio- economic status (SES) and health outcomes. Using enthnographic data from a comparative study of two diabetes clinics, the authors further develop the fundamental cause concept in three ways. First, they provide an exposition of the constituent claims implied by an assertion of fundamental causality. Second, they show how ethno- graphic data can be used to explicate such claims by showing some of the mechanisms that might operate to preserve the fundamental relationship in diabetes treatment regimens. Finally, they offer elab- orations and refinements of the fundamental cause concept.

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  • Karen Lutfey

  • Jeremy Freese

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