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Dominance

Overpowering or ruling over others has been there since known eras of human history. Strategies evolved to bring others in total control of one person or a group as long as possible. Domination gives deliberate authority of ordering and marking decisions, irrespective of the willingness, readiness and interests of the group or the person under control.

Unlike social status, dominance is to make someone realize its inability to challenge, perform, act upon or occupy something on its own. More specifically, domination is disarming others by threatening but without making any physical harm. Indirectly, dominating is exploiting others to serve the best interest of the dominator.

It has to do with appearing or bluffing to be a superior i.e. big, towering, attention drawing, authoritative, strong, outstanding and outnumbering. We can watch domination anywhere in daily life, right from exhibiting oneself as more powerful individual in the presence of somebody to demonstrating in a large homogeneous group on the streets.

Let’s see few examples of domination that we can observe during interpersonal interactions:

1) Bigger than you: You are sitting in cabin of your superior. Your conversion with her spins into an argument. She suddenly gets out of her chair and stands in front of you and starts glaring. Unconsciously, she wants to take control over your opinions and approach about subject.

2) Better than you: You find yourself unable to tackle an ongoing condition or issue of your own and seat helpless or nervous in chair. Your superior walking alongside your table, glances at you. He suddenly rushes, stands behind you back and starts asking questions.

Finally, he jumps into issue and solves it without you asking his help. With smirks, superiors says, “This is the way it is done! Better keep in mind from next time”.

3) I’m an in charge: You introducing yourself or you’re being introduced to a person and both of you exercise a formal hand shake. Person on the opposite side turns his palm facing down and silently communicates that he’s going to control or govern over whatever is going to happen in this association.

4) Keep yourself down: A couple is walking on street that’s full of commercial shops. When they pass by a jewelry shop, wife watches a nice diamond necklace. She expresses her wish to buy it but husband refutes it by saying, “We can’t afford it”. He stretches his hand towards her with palm facing downward and stares at her with big eyes.

5) United to defeat: An innocent lad’s caught by bulling street youngsters. Suddenly another rival group rushes to help him out of the situation. They cover the lad and silently stand tall in front of the offenders. Within seconds, offenders find their out from the spot.
 
Extraterrestrial invasion and domination is an existential threat.

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Social Status

Social status has been the greatest pursuit of the mankind since time unknown. A status means possessing the power and ability to access, acquire, control, process, store and consume resources, both biological and non-biological. Struggle for achieving the higher status is a silent and a pivotal hierarchical competition held between two different persons, families, clans, groups, communities and even countries.

Higher the status remains, more the resources could be acquired and consumed in lesser amount of physical labor and hard work. Individuals, families, groups and communities with higher status work lesser, consume more and waste a plenty. Struggle for achieving status can be easily observed in animal kingdom  too. Various species of creatures also strive for fitting themselves at a certain position in the long food chain.

Let’s closely analyze a routinely brutal episode that takes place on vast grass planes of savanna in Africa. A group of lions and lioness spots a grazing dear, stag or wildebeest. It chooses a prey and hunts it down. The group guards the prey from getting looted by small sized animals like wild dogs, jackals and wolves. Even within the group of these apex predators, elder male lions start eating first followed by females and young members.

After ripping off and gulping a large amount of nutritious flesh within an hour or so, small sized animals try their teeth on almost bear skeleton of prey left back by apex predators. Group of vultures circling in the sky settles down and starts scavenging whatever has been left. Small sized animals and vultures fight with each other over remnants of the prey.
 
Following vultures, a large group of wild African ants tears off the barely available flesh from skeleton. They transport tiny its pieces to anthills with their tiny jaws. At the end, bacteria feed on what others couldn't reach to. They grow in a huge number to form a huge colony and finish off their job.
 
One can realize that how each species of creature tries to struggle for and maintain its position in the food chain at its best. Body size, physical features, expertise, strength, speed, accuracy, coordination and group size play a crucial role in their pursuit, struggle and hard-work.

Unlike wild animals, a civilized human being struggles for achieving status in more subtle ways to ensure minimal clashes and conflicts. Appearing brilliant, hygienic, neat, cozy, clean, sophisticated and sometimes generous conveys personified status. Additionally, an individual's capability to afford a certain level of luxurious, wasteful, comfortable and lavish lifestyle conveys objectified status.

Ranks prevail within an individual human families as well. Certain physical territories, privileges, authorities, rights and decisions are (strictly) reserved to elders, achievers or more experienced persons whereas other family members have to respect, obey and follow them. It's more prevalent in large and joint families than the small and nuclear ones.
 
It’s hardwired in male brain to struggle and fight for achieving higher status. Males employ their power, energy, intellect and social rapport for gaining higher status, acquiring, collecting, possessing and climbing on economical ladder to attract mates, bond with them, reproduce with them, retain them and also to provide a wide pool of resources, physical space, safety, good nutrition, better chances of survival and opportunities to their children.

Other non-confrontational way of achieving and exhibiting higher social status is to gain knowledge, proficiency, expertise and popularity. Good knowledge generates ideas for achieving success and prosperity with far greater efficiency as compared to struggle, fight, rivalry and competition. Proven knowledge and proficiency are the two greatest tools of survival in chaotic, uncertain and unstable world.

Why fair complexion of the skin is unfairly overrated in our society? It's because the fair complexion of skin indirectly conveys that an individual has or can control over those who work under sun i. e. labor class or if not - it has higher mental abilities ("smartness") so that it can work by staying under roof and doesn’t need to engage in physical (hard) work.
Skin complexion is associated with socio-economical status.
On the scale - from darker to “ghostly” fair complexion, the complexion of an individual's skin is what it does for bread and butter. Thus it conveys overall socio-economical status of the person or the group it belongs to.
 
However, in modern age, social status, skills, strength, intellectual capabilities and smartness of any person cannot at all be determined or judged by its skin complexion.

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Cabin of Chief

The Great King Shivaji
Gone are the days when knights, kings, queens, emperors and empresses used to rule over their provinces, territories, kingdoms and empires from their forts, citadels and castles, just a few centuries ago. Tribal chiefs and leaders used to control, govern and guide their subjects or civilians in prehistoric time in the same way.

They all used to occupy a physical space inside court or durbar that was slightly elevated above the ground and surrounded by enclosures or guarded by armed soldiers. Without adequate and well-equipped security around them, thrones were easy targets due to their particular position inside court or durbar.
 
They used to seat on specially crafted, decorated and adorned thrones or chairs exhibiting their sovereignty, superiority, competency, fertility, potency, prowess and rich ancestral inheritance. Thrones or chairs and protected areas surrounding them were like the sanctuaries in which only a single individual can enter, stay and watch over the all others.

Today’s organizations, enterprises, trade houses, industries or institutions are more or less like ancient territorial kingdoms that are founded on certain set of principles, ambitions and goals. They start small but expand to a large no. of clients and operate on a vast geographical areas beyond boundaries. Modern chiefs, bosses, executives and managers have turned throne and its surroundings into miniaturized form like personal cabins or offices.

Anyone can easily find the difference between their cabins and the rest of the workplace. You would hardly find any personal cabin or office close to entrance or gathering point to make it hard to access for others and avoid easy intrusion or trespassing. This is exactly like surrounded or guarded thrones in historical and ancient era.

Today’s personal cabins or offices are guarded by peons or armed personals at their entrances. On single floor workplace, chief’s cabin or office often stands in the center or at the edge. If workplace occupies multi-storey building or multiple adjacent buildings, special care is taken to erect personal cabin or office with special security, facilities and amenities on topmost floors or in an isolated building.

The most important things observable in chief’s cabin or office is a clock hanging on wall or kept on table, visible to all. Obviously, clock reminds other the timeliness and to honor precious time being spent by the chief. Mostly, rectangular table is kept to create a secure space between chief and other individuals.

Various objects like pen stands, file racks, flags, emblems, miniatures, motifs, mascots, statues, flower pots, table lamps, diaries, computers, laptops and telephones or cell-phones kept on the table to mark territorial boundary of chief hence intrusion and utilization of it by other is strictly prohibited. Only personal assistants, officials of equal or higher ranks are allowed to enter and utilize this territory by formal or informal permission of chief.

Windows are built in walls to mimic an enlarged physical space, facilitate more natural illumination and allow looking outside. Curtains made up of rich fabric are installed on windows. Walls are adorned by precious gifts, antiquates, vintage artifacts, crafts and paintings to exhibit status.

The revolving globe or a large world map signifies the expanse of vision and ambition. Certificates, medals, trophies and testimonies show off accreditation, excellence, competencies, achievements and capability.

Photographs depicting chief along with other pioneers, dignitaries, celebrities and high ranking personals are also kept to convey strong rapport. Often, books are kept in shelf to demonstrate eligibility and access to knowledge and are used for quick reference whenever required. Costly furniture brings the an overall effect of majestic surrounding.

Chair deployed for chief is taller, bigger, more comfortable and pricey compared to sitting arrangement made for others. Chair with rotary axle, push-back, elevated back support and head cushion help chief to appear as strong, secured, relax, focused and confident.
 
Chair is placed facing its back towards fixed partition or wall to add security same way thrones were kept inside court or durbar. Often, sitting arrangement for other faces its back to door of cabin or office so that they could made their exit quickly and easily.

Other individuals are usually allowed sitting on ordinary benches and chairs with smaller resting surfaces, low in height, fixed backs and stationary axle to put them on the edge of comfort, coziness and confidence level, ultimately to neutralize their defensiveness.

Other individuals greet, engage in hand-shakes, offer or receive gifts, discuss and give presentations by sitting or standing at one side of the table. Only in inevitable or special situations, personal space of chief is invaded around the table.
Oval Office of the president of the United States of America
In many cabins or offices, a sofa is kept on which chief can seat with officials of an equal or higher rankings, parties, consultants, invited guests or field experts and openly discuss or share view points and establish trust.
 
Glass panels are installed to allow watching entire workspace and the people working and moving outside. Often glasses are tinted dark, allowed boss to look outside but not allowing others to know what's happening inside.

There can be some exceptions to or variations in modern cabins or offices, depending upon type of gender of the boss, geography, industry, organization, working conditions, work culture etc.

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