Status Dynamics in Encounters



Status is the most direct link of individuals to social structures, connecting persons to divisions of labor in corporate units and to memberships in categoric units. When individuals know their status and the status of others in an encounter, it becomes much easier for them to understand the meanings of situational ecology and demography, to role-make and role-take, to plug into relevant cultural elements and normatize, to channel motive states in appropriate ways, and to manage emotions. Embedding of an encounter in corporate and categoric units increases the viability of an encounter through establishing the relative status of participants. Conversely, when status is unknown or ambiguous, individuals will need to work much harder to sustain the encounter because, without the capacity to find each other’s locations within corporate and categoric units, they must work to discover the meanings of situational ecology and demography, actively orchestrate gestures to make a role and read the gestures of others to role-take, search for cues about what elements of culture are relevant and appropriate, figure out what motive states are to be mobilized, and discover the feeling and display rules so as to emit the right mix of emotions.


Positive Emotion Public Place Status Belief Moral Evaluation Stratification System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer New York 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of California at RiversideRiversideUSA

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