Status, Social


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.

Status, Social

 

the relative position of an individual or group in a social system, defined in terms of certain attributes (economic, professional, or ethnic, for example) specific to the given system.

People with the same social status display a set of similar personality traits that are apprehended as an individual’s “social type.” Status can be either “ascribed” or “achieved,” depending respectively on whether an individual holds a given position owing to inherited characteristics, such as race or social origin, or through his own efforts—for example, through education or merit. Any social status may be compared to another in terms of some criterion corresponding to the dominant value system, and thus acquires a given degree of social prestige.

The work of bourgeois sociologists on social status is largely based on the theory of M. Weber, who counterposed his own views to those of historical materialism. According to Weber, social stratification is determined not only by economic and political factors (access to national wealth, for example, or power, or law), but also by social factors (such as prestige). In Weber’s terminology, status (his Stand, meaning estate as well as position in general) is what unites a group of people sharing a specific life-style—a style that includes a set of habits, values, beliefs, notions of honor, and other psychological elements. For every lifestyle there is a correspondingly higher or lower evaluation, or degree of esteem, and those seeking such evaluation will adopt certain norms and ideas. Thus, the bourgeois nouveau riche strives to copy the aristocracy’s life-style, and his children may acquire a contemptuous attitude toward economic entrepreneurship.

Bourgeois sociology attempts to establish empirically the aggregate of objective factors (such as sex, age, ethnicity, education, type of occupation, property) on the basis of which status groups arise, each with its particular life-style. Such concepts ignore class relations as the real basis of status or of social distinctions.

The concept of status is also used as a correlate of social role; status refers to a set of rights and duties, while role denotes the dynamic aspect of status—that is, a particular behavior. In bourgeois sociology and social psychology, this concept of status is given a psychological interpretation, referring essentially to an individual’s position as perceived by himself or by others.

Marxist-Leninist class theory makes it possible to analyze the division of society into various classes, social groups, and strata, and to define the principles underlying people’s status. In a socialist society, with its absence of class antagonism, the most important variables that determine the status of a group are occupation and educational qualifications (and consequently wages), as well as age, marital or family characteristics, and regional or local categories. The more useful an individual’s work is to society and the greater his efforts and achievements, the higher his status.

REFERENCES

Lenin, V. I. Chto takoe “druz’ia naroda” i kak oni voiuiutproliv sotsial-demokratov? Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 1.
Sotsiologiia v SSSR, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1965.
Chelovek i ego rabota. Moscow, 1967.
Kon, I. S. Sotsiologiia lichnosti. Moscow, 1967.
Szczepański, J. Elementarnye poniatiia sotsiologii. Moscow, 1969. (Translated from Polish.)
Sotsial’nye problemy truda i proizvodstva. Moscow, 1969.
Aitov, N. A. Tekhnicheskii progress i dvizhenie rabochikh kadrov. Moscow, 1972.
Gordon, L. A., and E. V. Klopov. Chelovek posle raboty. Moscow, 1972.
Linton, R. The Study of Man. New York-London, 1936.
Parsons, T. The Social System [2nd ed.]. Glencoe, 111., 1952.

V. B. OL’SHANSKII

References in periodicals archive ?
Spirituality was significantly related to perceived stress, health status, social support, self-esteem, and psychological well-being: [beta]s (95% CIs) = -.
The significantly increased risk was not attenuated by adjustment for maternal age, height, smoking, status, social deprivation, and interpregnancy interval or for key outcomes of the first pregnancy, including birth weight percentile, preterm delivery, and perinatal death.
The focus then turns to the 'vie de boudoir', followed by an entire chapter dedicated to 'L'Aristocrate et sa toilette', which examines the use of women's clothes, hair, and scent to indicate status, social class, or a particular character trait.
Hate crimes definition: Crimes motivated by bias or prejudice related to actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, political affiliation or beliefs, membership or activity in or on behalf of a labor organization or against a labor organization, physical or mental handicap, age, economic status, social status, or citizenship of the victim.
It is difficult to let go the status, social interaction, public exposure and structured time that work provides, not to mention any financial reliance.
Seven determinants were identified including income and social status, social support networks, employment and working conditions, education, physical environments, personal health practices and coping skills, health services and culture.
We selected the schools based on two criteria: (1) they enrolled substantial proportions of students who would be considered to be at risk of educational failure due to their academic status, social background, or geographical location; and (2) they had qualities that led us to believe that the probability of finding school-based forms of social capital would be high.
Her insights, unencumbered by status, social fads, and affectations, were clear, precise, and always beautiful by their economy and simplicity.
Buchanan does more than most commentators by emphasizing the association between health and socioeconomic status, social supports, and racism, and by underscoring the importance of aligning with local communities.
Four areas in particular: education, economic and employment status, social characteristics, and the relationship between the community and the state informed a decidedly Russian Deaf cultural identity.
This research shows, us that the illness experience is shaped by a number of inextricably linked factors and processes, including personal experience, aspects of identity, biography and social status, social networks and access to diverse sources of health knowledge and information.
As stated in the article, the QLI measures the importance of and satisfaction with functional status, psychological status, social well-being, health perceptions, and disease and treatment-related symptoms.