This paper reports development of an integrated framework for studying status. The framework provides models and methods for addressing long-standing, unresolved issues, such as (1) the emergence of status, (2) distinguishing between the status of individuals and the status of characteristics, and (3) measuring and understanding the status gap between subgroups (between men and women, or between races). The framework, which covers both small groups and large societies, and both task and nontask groups, utilizes ideas and insights from several literatures to identify three types of status, linked in precise ways to two kinds of personal characteristics (quantitative and qualitative). The three types of status are mathematically specified, and initial theoretical development is presented for all three, including, for each, formulation of measures, derivation of testable implications, and analysis of how to change status and the status structure. Testable implications cover such phenomena as status differences between group members, status gaps between subgroups, overall status inequality, and status gains and losses from discrimination - all under varying conditions, including the number and intercorrelation of status-conferring personal characteristics and the proportions in the subgroups. The new status theory also identifies two mechanisms involved in the phenomenon of "internalized oppression." The framework thus opens many avenues for future work, both theoretical work, deriving more and sharper implications, and empirical work, testing the implications and using the new measures for the status of persons and the status of characteristics to assess key status phenomena in surveys and experiments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science