1. Capitals and health

One of my longstanding areas of interest concerns the application of Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of symbolic power to health-related factors. Patrick John Burnett and I recently applied the framework to original survey data from Toronto and Vancouver, identifying six class groupings and a range of aesthetic tastes and flexible dispositions in the Canadian field of power that illuminate the logic of health practices dispersed in the field. Baekgeun Jeong and I have just published several articles on the health effects of the intergenerational transmission of capitals from parents to children in South Korea. I am currently working with Thomas Abel on a theoretical treatise on capital interplays and health and with Yue Qian on an analysis of the health effects of spousal income disparities in South Korea.


2. Racial health inequalities

In recent years I have endeavoured to contribute to the lamentably small literature on racial health inequalities in Canada with a focus on the health-related circumstances of Black, South Asian and White Canadians in particular. Several years ago I completed a small study on the health effects of incongruities between the racial identities people express to others (expressed racial identity) and the racial identities they believe that others believe them to be (reflected racial identity), as well as the health effects of colourism, discrimination targeted at relatively darker skinned people of colour. I have most recently explored correspondences between multiracial identities and health in Canada.


3. Intersectionality and health

An overlapping area of interest concerns quantitative investigation of the degree to which intersections between race, gender, class and sexuality are associated with health outcomes in Canada, that is, the degree to which racial health inequalities are gendered and/or classed, class inequalities in health are racialized and/or sexualized, etc. Thierry Gagné and I are currently investigating the degree to which income-based inequalities in diabetes and hypertension intersect with both race and gender.


4. Culture and class

A final area of interest concerns the class bases of cultural phenomena such as musical tastes and sporting knowledge and participation. In particular, I have attempted to contribute to the ongoing debate regarding the relative merits of the homology approach (specific cultural tastes and practices are aligned with specific class positions) and the cultural omnivorism perspective (elites are increasingly characterized by the breadth and eclecticism of their cultural tastes and practices).



My research has been funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, Public Health Agency of Canada, and Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada.


Gerry Veenstra on Google Scholar

Gerry Veenstra on ResearchGate

Gerry Veenstra’s CV


Recent Publications

Veenstra, Gerry. (2017). Black, White, Black and White: Mixed race and health in Canada. Ethnicity & Health (in press).

Burnett, Patrick John and Gerry Veenstra. (2017). Margins of freedom: A field-theoretic approach to class-based health dispositions and practices. Sociology of Health & Illness (in press).

Gagné, Thierry and Gerry Veenstra. (2017). Trends in smoking initiation in Canada: Does non-inclusion of young adults in tobacco control strategies represent a missed opportunity? Canadian Journal of Public Health (in press).

Jeong, Baekgeun and Gerry Veenstra. (2017). The intergenerational production of depression in South Korea: A cross-sectional study. International Journal for Equity in Health 16: 13 (pp. 1-8).

Abichahine, Hayfa and Gerry Veenstra. (2016). Inter-categorical intersectionality and leisure-based physical activity in Canada. Health Promotion International (e-pub ahead of print).

Patterson, Andrew C. and Gerry Veenstra. (2016). Politics and population health: Testing the impact of electoral democracy. Health & Place 40, 66-75.

Veenstra, Gerry and Baekgeun Jeong. (2016). The intergenerational production of health in South Korea. Health Sociology Review 25, 3, 288-299.

Veenstra, Gerry and Andrew C. Patterson. (2016). South Asian-White health inequalities in Canada: Intersections with gender and immigrant status. Ethnicity & Health 21, 6, 639-648.

Veenstra, Gerry and Patrick John Burnett. (2016). Towards a relational health promotion. Health Promotion International 31, 1, 209-213.

Veenstra, Gerry and Andrew C. Patterson. (2016). Black-White health inequalities in Canada. Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health 18, 1, 51-57.

Veenstra, Gerry. (2016). Social inequality and health. In Grabb, Edward, Jeffrey Reitz and Monica Hwang (Eds.). Social Inequality in Canada: Dimensions of Disadvantage. Sixth Edition. Oxford University Press, pp. 294-306.


Winter 2016

SOCI328A Social Statistics I - SOCIAL STATS I Sections

The testing of sociological theories using quantitative data analysis techniques on numerical data from social surveys, experiments and official statistics.

Winter 2016

SOCI479A Social Determinants of Health - DETERMNTS HEALTH Sections

Relationships between social phenomena (e.g., personal beliefs, lifestyle practices, social support, socio-economic status, social class, gender, and ethnicity) and the health of human populations.

Winter 2016

SOCI502 Research Design and Techniques (Quantitative) Sections


I am Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Born and raised in southern Ontario, I received bachelor degrees in Pure Mathematics (1992) and Sociology (1993) from the University of Waterloo and M.A. (1994) and Ph.D. (1999) degrees in Sociology from McMaster University. I am past holder of a New Investigator career award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2000-5), an Early Career scholar award from the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (2007-8), a Senior Scholar career award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (2007-12) and a Killam Research Fellowship (2013).