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date: 06 December 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines status dynamics, with particular emphasis on four common patterns. First, actors use others’ status as a signal of their underlying quality. Second, an actor’s status influences the rewards that he/she receives. Third, an individual’s status position is not fixed, but arises from the exchange relations between individuals. Fourth, actors are especially likely to rely on status queues to make inferences about quality when there is substantial uncertainty about that underlying quality. The article first considers the sociological conception of status as a signal before reviewing studies that demonstrate the broad applicability of the four propositions laid out above, taking into account the concept of Matthew effect. It then explores a new line of research on commensuration and value, suggesting that the presence of structural cues may lead to the depreciation of quality.

Keywords: status dynamics, status, quality, rewards, exchange relations, uncertainty, Matthew effect, commensuration, value, structural cues

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