Social status is the position occupied by an individual in the hierarchical social system in which he is included (group, recognized or alternative social subsystem). This is a social position of a person, connecting with others by defining the laws of interaction (rights and duties, peculiarities of interaction and hierarchy of subordination). The status of the individual is determined by the signs specific and important for a given social group: national, age, economic indicators. To a greater extent, social status is determined by external factors and achievements, such as the presence of power, material well-being, and available opportunities. Much less frequently, in determining the status, a social group is guided by the skills, as well as the knowledge of the individual, his internal personal qualities, charisma in communication, and education.

The concept of social status exists only in the process of comparing the position of one person with the positions of others. It shows a certain place in the hierarchy, reflecting the organization of the social structure. High status makes it possible to influence the course of social and historical development, to enjoy privileges, a special location.

The social status of the individual implies not only the use of special benefits, but also imposes on the individual some obligations that relate to certain activities, the expected behavior and the implementation of the norms prescribed by society. The displayed social position is supported by strict social mechanisms that not only impose obligations and give rights, but also support a certain distribution of people in the designated social classes. The level of general development of the society depends on how carefully the social social distributions and the compliance of the behavioral manifestation with the prescribed statuses are observed. The more scrupulously everything complies with the prescriptions, the fewer the mixes in the manifestations, the more highly organized society is considered.

To determine the individual social status, it takes into account its level of income, material things included in property, lifestyle and lifestyle, interpersonal relations, the position taken in the system of division of labor, the place occupied in the political hierarchy, the level of education, innate indicators (nationality, origin, and .d.) Based on these criteria, each individual has at the same time several social statuses reflecting the level of each parameter (a young man is a social status relative to age, an engineer reflects the status relative to the profession, a monopolist shows the status based on tangible property).

But assessing the totality of these categories without taking into account the internal system of human values ​​will not give an adequate understanding, since there is a main status based on the self-perception of a person and the lifestyle he adheres to. That is, a person who has a noble background, several higher educations and an intelligent social circle can lead a marginal lifestyle, which will reflect his status.

The concept is rather densely connected with the concept of social prestige, which reflects those positions held that are in demand and revered in society. This may be a prestigious profession or area of ​​residence, places visited and education received.

What is social status?

The concept of social status determines the position occupied, and also reflects the hierarchy of the structure of the whole group. The status characteristic is not entirely dependent on the efforts of the individual, it is determined by the surrounding society, endowing or depriving some functions on the basis of not always objective factors. It should be noted that the occupied social status is not a static concept and changes in accordance with external circumstances or according to a decision made by the person himself. Also, status can cease to exist completely if a person leaves this social group or ceases to build its activities on the basis of the rules that govern the behavioral manifestations of people.

Increasing social status is possible with independent efforts and aspirations of a person (obtaining additional education, creating a social movement, increasing the number of orders carried out), as well as due to social processes (military conflicts, change and seizure of power, the death of higher-ranking ones).

The statuses of one person are divided into personal and social-public, which is caused by the entry of a person into social groups of different scale at the same time. Personal status includes the place occupied by a person in a small group (family, closest peer group, team, etc.). The position here is governed by personal qualities and the ability to build strong and productive interpersonal relationships. The better people perceive others, the greater the number of positive emotions felt in his direction, the higher his status. Adjusting their place in a small group is quite simple, it is characterized by frequent changes in the position, which is largely determined by the emotional perception and reflects the relationship and their processes.

The social and social position of a person includes the place he occupies in a large group of people allocated on the basis of certain categories (gender, nation, religion, profession, place of residence, etc.). The perception of the qualities and characteristics of the individual at this level is not regulated by the group of people and their impact, but by the global position of this social category in society. It is the lack of flexibility in this matter and the scale of perception that explains the derogatory attitude on the basis of their race, the oppression of rights and freedoms on the basis of sexual characteristics and religious preferences.

Social status and social role

The concepts of status and role are not identical, although they are inextricably linked. Social status is a place taken, and social role is an expectation from a person, based on that status. In the social role there are two main directions. These are standard, customary and socially expected expectations, and how a person realizes himself in accordance with this, i.e. how the stereotypical socio-role model is fulfilled or violated at the behavioral level.

The status is characterized by achievements, and other indicators are used to designate a social role. These include the level of emotionality required to perform a role, the way it is received (given from birth, for example, gender or acquired, for example, mother’s status), the scale of manifestation (some social roles have clear temporal or geographical scope of manifestation, others require permanent) . In addition, the roles can be established or arbitrary, which is impossible if there is a status, and also the change of roles occurs several times a day, the change of status requires more time. The number of social roles corresponds to the number of social statuses. Being the child’s mother by status requires certain responsibilities at the role level. In many ways, this causes serious internal conflicts and contradictions, when a person is faced with the choice of fulfilling the expectations of different roles. Professional and family roles often collide, forcing a person to choose to play only one thing, because it is impossible to simultaneously attend an important meeting and a children's matinee.

Including the expected sequence of actions performed, the social role largely makes a person hostage to his own achievements. So, doctors will be expected to be constantly ready to help, from a convicted fraud or theft, and from the chief they will be expected to take responsibility and implement unmistakable decisions. In another society, this may be perceived completely differently, since there is a different attitude to different social statuses and roles. In some countries, parents take and pick up children from school right up to graduation classes; in others, seven-year-old children themselves overcome a two-hour journey with several transfers.

Failure to fulfill the expected social roles usually entail punishment. This may be a social censure of the society and the non-admission of such a person into their own circle, or it may be a legal punishment (deprivation of parental rights if the mother does not fulfill parental functions, dismissal or even imprisonment). The discrepancy between human behavior and its role causes a lot of outrage in society, because threatens to undermine the entire system of predictability, orderliness and security. This is governed by generally accepted standards of morality, which in many respects may contradict the inner sensations of the individual. A priest listening to hard rock will cause confusion, and playing in a rock band may incur public harassment. At the same time, his behavior will not contradict the rules prescribed by the role of the clergyman, but the fact that the behavior does not fit into the view and the expectations of the majority is considered a deviation from the given social role.

In addition, many social statuses require the fulfillment of several social roles. The status of the wife includes the role of the nurse, doctor, janitor, mistress, and so on. The social status of a director may include the fulfillment of all professional roles of the employees present.

The presence of such a framework and the strict requirement for compliance with social roles makes the lives and behavior of people more predictable, which directly affects the level of overall social security and a reduction in the internal sense of anxiety in each individual. This system of role expectations, as the control of society, begins and takes root from early childhood. This process is called socialization, when through the game and explanations of adults, watching movies and reading fairy tales, watching the people around them, the child absorbs and remembers the rules of behavior in society. The difference between children's games is built on this - girls swaddle baby dolls, and boys build castles, which prepare for further adult realization of roles. Likewise, parents teach children - girls are connected to household help, boys are engaged in household repairs. Princess upbringing is significantly different from upbringing rural children, and the completely different behavioral skills required by status are imparted.

Strict fulfillment of roles and the presence of certain stereotypical expectations allows speeding up the process of communication to increase the degree of trust. Going to the doctor’s office, each person listens to his advice and uses help. If there were no social roles determined by social status, then initially it would be necessary to check the availability of diplomas, their authenticity, triple the practical skills gained by the doctor, and then take a long time to deal with the internal motives of his activities.

Types of social statuses

Each person has several social statuses; it is impossible to be deprived of absolutely any status while in a social society. Even in a situation of deprivation of one status, another immediately appears, replacing him (an accountant becomes unemployed after being fired, a wife becomes a widow after her husband dies, a student becomes a student after graduation).

The status image accompanies all types of social statuses and reflects the combination of ideas and expectations from a person in this category. These are social requirements that a person must fulfill, otherwise he may lose his status requiring compliance with these norms. For example, a priest should not sleep drunk under a fence, teachers should not earn extra money by prostitution, and a doctor cannot forget to come to the call.

There are initial social statuses that shape the subsequent development of a person, his point of view and world perception, largely determine the behavior and are in no way corrected. Based on these first innate statuses, the first differences in the capabilities of the hierarchical level occupied will appear. Biologically defined characteristics (nationality, gender) are related to innate or given statuses. These statuses have long been considered unchanged and unaffected, but with the development of medicine it has become possible to change the sex in accordance with internal sensations. Also, children born in another country, in their external behavioral and characterological manifestations reflect the typical features of the nation where they are brought up. The same is observed in children of refugees and displaced persons, who, because of the high adaptability of children's age, absorb the cultures of the country of residence. Also, innate statuses express consanguinity and automatically endow a person with a social role (son, adopted child, detdomovots).

On the basis of innate statuses, a certain part of the legislative system is built - the obligation of military service, permission to participate in elections, the severity of criminal punishment, etc.

There is an acquired status acquired as a result of significant events. So, princes become kings, brides become wives after the wedding. It is the acquired statuses that reflect nebro-familial relations (mother-in-law, father-in-law, husband, etc.).

Achieved status is a kind of acquired, but reflects the conscious desire of a person and the gradual efforts made to change (most often increase) their own social status. Most often, this type describes professional categories, for which change it is necessary to make an effort - to obtain additional certification, conduct a successful campaign, show personal qualities of perseverance and competence. Raising social status, like lowering it, requires timely response and behavior change in accordance with situations. If this does not happen, then talk about maladjustment and the loss of adequate self-perception.

The achieved social status depends largely on the innate, because education, the presence of a wide range of acquaintances, the opportunity for travel and knowledge of the world opens up more opportunities for a person to acquire a high achieved status. However, there is one interesting pattern - the high status achieved is always more important than the innate. This is due to the priority recognition by society of achievements, and not given, no matter what its initial positions were.

The prescribed status is acquired regardless of the desire and effort. Thus, age is a prescribed inborn status, and the situation in the family (for example, the second wife) is a prescribed acquired status.

There are also mixed social statuses or status discrepancies that occur as a result of an unfavorable set of circumstances (political upheavals, wars, loss of work or health). In such cases, the owner of several factories can rent a one-room apartment in a terrible state, and the professor of cybernetics can work as a janitor.

There is such a thing as the main social status. Usually, the main person is taken up by his professional status, which influences the choice of the environment, the opportunities afforded to him financially. For patriarchal countries with a traditional cultural component of a woman, her main status is gender. In determining the most important social status, it is necessary to focus on the surrounding reality and the characteristics of the culture where the person is located.

Also there are secondary statuses, each of which a person can change several times per day or per season. Identification with them is insignificant and appears only in exceptional cases. This may be the status of a passenger bus or the audience at a concert, a pedestrian or a buyer.

Examples of social status

Any kind of social status is well illustrated by examples. For example, the most important status inherent in all people who are in social interaction is a person. It is so generalized and blurred, present a priori, that it is not even taken into account when considered. Further examples of congenital statuses may be nationality, as well as the citizenship and interaction of these two statuses may by their combination give rise to a third (for example, Jews in military Germany were considered second-class people). Inborn status, which determines gender, also gives certain social statuses and roles associated with them (daughter or son, sister, granddaughter, orphans).

Acquired statuses are somewhat similar with innate ones, only a person can influence their presence by an independent conscious choice. Именно так расширяются родственные роли - незнакомые люди становятся мужем и женой, создавая новую семью, а их родственники приобретают новые социальные статусы относительно друг друга (свекровь, золовка, свояченица, кум и прочее).

Unlike congenital and practically not amenable to correction, episodic statuses fill our lives and can be illustrated by examples of participants in strikes, visitors to a cinema or cafe, a passenger in a taxi or train, a buyer or a participant in a rally. These statuses can be repeated periodically in the life of the same person, and also without any special influence on the overall picture of life, they are replaced by the opposite.

The statuses achieved usually relate to professional and status provisions and often have their own individual insignia. This may be a profession (doctor, policeman, lawyer, biologist), position (president, associate professor, leader), life position (downshifter, vagabond). Achieved social statuses include such categories as thieves, murderers, people without a certain place of residence. This is the other side of the coin, reflecting the wrong efforts or lack of commitment to development.

Achieved statuses are almost always external identification marks - doctors, military, employees of the Department of Internal Affairs, firefighters wear uniforms, athletes have medals and cups, even prisoners have their own external hierarchical identification system in the form of tattoos.

Any manifestation of social status cannot always fully meet the expectations of society; it is impossible to withstand both the behavioral line and the external correspondence and without destroying any of the other statuses.

How to improve social status

Social status is not permanent and natural, the desire of each person is to increase it. There are more prestigious professions, places of residence, higher wages, and in some countries there is even a preferred gender. Some categories of people can not affect. So, even if you have a sex change operation, it is impossible to change biological parents and nationality a priori. But most things in this world are subject to change, and you can improve your social status.

Improving social status contributes to the motivational part of the personality and the presence of ambitions. Without the desire to improve their lives and choose the best, progress is impossible. This applies to everything - from the choice of work, to building relationships. Those who believe that they have insufficient experience or knowledge are looking for work with low wages or poor working conditions and spend their whole lives this way. At this stage it is worth stopping and starting to consider vacancies of prestigious companies and positions with a high salary. You can send them your resume, but the optimal study of the requirements of the employer - this will be your strategy to improve their social status. Study the necessary programs, pull up the level of proficiency in foreign languages ​​and over time your resume will become the best among those who claim a decent and interesting job.

Look at how those whose standard of living you like live. Carefully evaluate how they spend their time, with whom they communicate, how much time they devote to self-development and in what areas. Perhaps you will notice that Friday nights this person spends not in bars, but in studying accounting programs, and instead of watching the show chooses to spend the weekend in an entertainment center with business partners.

Every time you need to raise your level: if now you can’t afford lunch, then you need to find an opportunity to eat fast food, when it becomes the norm, it's time to start going to canteens or simple cafes, then you need to upgrade the level to restaurants and an individual menu and get acquainted with the chef a cook. Approximately on such ladder all life should be built. Do not save, but look for ways to develop.

There are always better positions or opportunities to open your business. In their choices, where to invest energy, it is important to focus on the demands of the environment. If you want to open your restaurant, then the best way to complete cooking courses, and if you want a position in an international company, then you should study at least two foreign languages ​​perfectly.

In addition to very specific practical skills and knowledge, special knowledge and habits corresponding to this social style will be needed. For executive positions, you will have to perfectly learn business etiquette and the psychology of management. Any change of position, field of activity or level of work performed requires a change of style. And both behavior style and clothing style. If you used to be a creative designer in an advertising agency, you could walk in a stretched sweater with bruises under your eyes and change this field of activity to a model magazine designer, then you will have to change your appearance to match the general direction. And if you are hired for the design of a political program, you will have to change the style of communication and remove the habits of being late and live in a free schedule.

Improving social status is always associated with a quick and adequate adaptation to the changing conditions, and the sooner this happens, the more chances that you will gain a foothold on the reached step, rather than slide back. To do this, you need to live a little in the future and now correspond to an increased stage. At the evening reception at the embassy it is necessary to arrive in a tuxedo, and not to look for him before entering with passers-by.

The more all your external manifestations will correspond to the desired status, the greater the chance that you will get it. Perfectly fluent in languages ​​and business etiquette, the employee receives standing invitations from the boss to meet with sponsors and becomes his deputy. And another employee, more advanced as a specialist, but with his whole appearance demonstrating involvement in the middle class of performers will never be invited to such events.

This, incidentally, applies to personal relationships. If you feel worthy, you are in the right places, then the companion will meet you courteous and share your tastes. If you get drunk in the bar and leave with the first comer, then do not be surprised that this is not a prince.

Watch your health and invest not only in treatment, but in examination, routine inspection, preventive measures, visiting sanatoriums and playing sports. Taking care of one's health is leading in achieving high results. It stimulates brain activity, stamina, stabilizes the nervous system. Regarding the nerves - you need to try to slow down, because the more fuss and cries about their own exclusivity and the desire to be higher, the lower the result. Slowness and calm make it possible to make the right decisions.