This work assessed the concurrent and face validity of the MacArthur scale, which attempts to capture subjective social status in society, neighborhood and work contexts. The study population comprised a convenience sample made up of 159 adult participants of the ELSA-Brasil cohort study conducted in Minas Gerais between 2012 and 2014. The analysis was conducted drawing on Conceptual Metaphor Theory and using corpus linguistic methods. Concurrent validity was shown to be moderate for the society ladder (Kappaw = 0.55) and good for the neighborhood (Kappaw = 0.60) and work (Kappaw = 0,67) ladders. Face validity indicated that the MacArthur scale really captures subjective social status across indicators of socioeconomic position, thus confirming that it is a valuable tool for the study of social inequalities in health Brazil.
Social class; Linguistics; Metaphor; Validity