Status Relations

Status generally refers to an individual's position or rank, along a standard of honor or respect, within a group or social hierarchy. As such, status relations are defined as observable rank-ordered pairings of individuals in some social situation. For instance, when male presidential advisors are more influential than females, when senior partners in a legal firm are given access to the beach home but junior partners are excluded, or when attractive children dominate the best playground equipment, relations are affected by status. In each case, a characteristic (i.e., gender, seniority, or beauty) produces advantages wherein some individuals are ranked more highly than others. What follows is a brief examination of historical accounts of status relations, their causes and consequences in group interaction, and prevailing theories ...

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