status consistency and inconsistency

status consistency and inconsistency

the situation of either being ranked consistently across a range of status criteria (status consistency or status congruence), or being ranked inconsistently (status inconsistency or status incongruence), e.g. blacks or Hispanics in high status occupations. Sometimes the term status crystallization is also used.

Since modern societies usually involve the coexistence of parallel hierarchies of CLASS and STATUS (see also CLASS, STATUS AND PARTY; MULTIDIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL STRATIFICATION), Lenski (1966) has suggested that discrepancies in status, especially when acute, are associated with political radicalism. More generally, however, the empirical correlates of status inconsistency have themselves been inconsistent; as one sceptical comment expresses it, in the study of voting behaviour 'status inconsistency puts greater stress on theorists than voters’ (Harrop and Miller, 1987).

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000