Almost all you wanted to know about status inconsistency but never dared to measure: Theoretical deficits in empirical research on status inconsistency

Ekkart Zimmermann1
1University of the Federal Armed Forces, Germany
Cite this article:  Zimmermann, E. (1985). Almost all you wanted to know about status inconsistency but never dared to measure: Theoretical deficits in empirical research on status inconsistency. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 13(2), 195-214.

Volume 13 Issue 2 | e471 | Published: August 1985 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1985.13.2.195

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Status inconsistency theorizing still contains more promises than current research about the concept has lived up to. While being somewhat eclectic in the points made. in the three parts of the paper, nevertheless, a general evaluation of status inconsistency theorizing and empirical research is aimed at. In the first section basic premises and conditions of the theory are discussed It is persistently argued that these premises need to be corroborated empirically, if status inconsistency is to become a stronger predictor than in the past. In particular, it is maintained that status inconsistency needs to be dealt with and measured at the individuals subjective level, how he or she experiences the respective status configurations in respective contexts. At the macro-societal level status inconsistency seems to be a weak predictor due to numerous counter-effects balancing each other. In narrowly modernised communities, however, status inconsistency might become a strong predictor of some forms of behavior, if it is established that status inconsistent configurations possess relevancy for both the individual and his or her interaction partners and are experienced as stressful by the individual. Drawing in particular on findings from expectation states theory and research, numerous caveats as to more adequate linkage between theoretical terms and possible operationalizations are pointed to. It is hoped that with some of the caveats in mind, status inconsistency research will rejuvenate.
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