Social status


Social status is the hierarchical position that an individual occupies within his community. This, based on different variables such as income level, economic activity carried out, reputation, ethnicity, among others.

That is, social status is the recognition of a person and based on which a place is assigned to him in society. In this sense, various characteristics of the individual are considered, both economic (purchasing power) and social (skin color, family to which they belong, etc.). Thus, the higher the status, the more possible the access to privileges, such as higher quality education or the occupation of a position of power.

Social class

It should be noted that although an individual is born with certain conditions, this does not determine the social status that he can achieve.

Another point to take into account is that each company has its own structure, which is why statuses are usually defined based on different criteria. For example, in a nation dominated by a religious leader, the person's faith and attachment to it will be key to determining their position in the community.

Types of social status

Social status can be classified in different ways. For example, depending on whether or not the person was born with it, it can be divided into:

  • Assigned or assigned: When it is based on characteristics on which the individual has no decision such as race, gender, age, last name, the town where he was born, among others. This type of status is related to everything that is inherited.
  • Acquired: It responds to a recognition assigned for achievements obtained. This is the case, for example, of a professional who for excellence in his work acquires fame in his sector. This kind of status is possible, especially when there is meritocracy, that is, when the person can advance in the work or academic world due to their abilities and achievements.

Another way to classify social status is as follows:

  • Objective: It is the one that society assigns to an individual based on measurable or observable variables such as income level, profession and, in general, physical characteristics such as ethnicity.
  • Subjective: It is the recognition that a person gives himself and may differ from the perception that others have. That is, it is the hierarchy that a person believes they have, but not part of external recognition.

Economic status versus social status

The fact that a person has an income level does not necessarily mean that they have a social status. It may be that a wealthy individual, for example, is discovered as an accessory to a serious case of government corruption. Then it loses public recognition.

Likewise, there may be people who are highly admired for their achievements, for example, athletes or artists, but who do not belong to the highest socioeconomic level. However, it can be said that on his merits he achieved a certain status.

It is undeniable that the economic factor is relevant to hold a high social status because it allows access to a good education, as well as quality goods and services. In addition, it is usually the people with greater purchasing power who arrive and / or influence the high spheres of political power.

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