The concept of social status has two primary usages in contemporary sociology. On one hand, a person's status is her position in the pattern of social relations among members of the social system. On the other hand, a person's status is her rank in an evaluative ordering of members in regard to honor or prestige. Each usage has a heritage of conceptual and theoretical literature. In what follows, certain selections from this literature highlight key ideas relating to the concept.

In its earliest usage in the positional sense, social status is linked to a role, and the terminology is statusrole. In the influential formulation of Ralph Linton (1893–1953), given a status in the sense of a position in a structure of social relations, the linked role ...

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