The Pursuit of Status: A Self-presentational Perspective on the Quest for Social Value

  • Mark R. LearyEmail author
  • Katrina P. Jongman-Sereno
  • Kate J. Diebels


This chapter focuses on the ways in which people seek status in their interpersonal interactions and relationships. Our analysis conceptualizes status as the degree to which other people perceive that an individual possesses resources or personal characteristics that are important for the attainment of collective goals. That is, people have status to the degree that others perceive that they have instrumental social value. In being based on instrumental social value, status is distinguishable from interpersonal acceptance, which is based on relational value. Thus, the routes to obtaining status and respect are different from those that lead to acceptance and liking. The chapter discusses the central role that self-presentation plays in the pursuit of status, the ways in which people enhance their status through impression management, the features of social situations that moderate how people manage their public images in the pursuit of status, and the dilemma that people sometimes face in balancing their efforts to be respected and gain status with their efforts to be liked and accepted.


Status Self Presentation Impression management Social value Relational value 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark R. Leary
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katrina P. Jongman-Sereno
    • 1
  • Kate J. Diebels
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and NeuroscienceDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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