Affluence and the Pursuit of Status

Avner Offer

in The Challenge of Affluence

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780199216628
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191696015 | DOI:

Series: The Challenge of Affluence

Affluence and the Pursuit of Status

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This chapter deals with the rewards of status and with the advantages of ranking over other people. A positive social ranking produces an inner glow that is also matched with a clear advantage in life expectation and health. Status is a personal attribute, but is also affected by the trade-off between the home and the market. Status is a male preoccupation, which is rewarded by access to women. For women, motherhood provided a source of self-regard, but it restricted their opportunities for market success. Status is measured here first in terms of occupational status and distance from the bottom, or positive advantage. In the aggregate, this constituted the stock of status. Unexpectedly, though quite consistently, women's average stock of occupational status matched that of men, or even exceeded it. The main reason was motherhood was preferred over low-status jobs at the bottom, and over childlessness at the top.

Keywords: status; women; motherhood; advantage; stock

Chapter.  13990 words.  Illustrated.

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