status group


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status group

any group which can be identified in terms of a specific, ‘positive or negative, social estimation of honour’ (WEBER, 1922) within a system of SOCIAL STRATIFICATION. The classical period of relatively clear-cut distinctions between status groups is the era of preindustrial empires. Clear STATUS hierarchies existed, for example, in India and China, as well as in preindustrial societies for Europe (see also CASTE, ESTATE). However, status groupings, and distinctions in status (even when loosely associated with status groups), continue as a significant dimension of social stratification in modern societies (see also CLASS, STATUS AND PARTY; MULTIDIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL STRATIFICATION).