The scientific portal on Body Language, Kinesics and Nonverbal Communication#

Search this site

Matter of Status

Social status has been quest of mankind since evolution. A status means possessing and exhibiting an ability of accessing, controlling, and utilizing resources. It’s a silent and pivotal hierarchical competition held between two individuals, groups, classes or societies. Higher the status remains, more authorities can be exploited and less labor is required. Struggle for status can be easily observed in animal kingdom. They also strive for fitting themselves at certain position in food buffet. 

Let’s witness a routine and brutal episode that takes place on vast grass planes of savanna in Africa. Herd of lions & lioness spots grazing dear, stag or wildebeest. It chases the prey and kills it down. They guard their prey from getting looted by small sized animals like canines (wild dogs), jackals and wolves. Even within the group of these apex predators, elder males start their feast followed by females and young members.

After ripping off and gulping 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. Small size animals and vultures fight with each other over remnants of prey. Finally, a group of wild African ants tears off flesh and exposed bone marrow into pieces by their tiny jaws and transports to anthills. One can realize that how each species of creature tries to struggle for and maintain its position on ladder of food consumption at its best. Size, physical features, capacity, strength, speed, aptitude and social settings matter a lot to them.

Unlike wild animals, civilized humans struggle for status in more subtle ways to ensure fewer clashes and confrontations. Appearing brilliant, neat, cozy, clean, advanced, secure, sovereign and sometimes generous determines personified status. Additionally, ability to afford certain level of luxurious, levitated and lavish life style demonstrates objectified status.

Ranks prevails within human families as well. Certain authorities and accessibility is seized by elders or more experiences persons whereas other members have to respect and follow them. It’s hardwired in male brain to struggle for and employ their energy - brain - rapport into gaining social status and climbing on hierarchical ladder to attract - retain mate and to provide pool of potentials for children.

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

Why fairness is unfairly overrated in our society? It's because fair complexion indirectly conveys that an individual has/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.

The complexion of an individual (on the scale - from darker to “ghostly” fair complexion) is what it does for bread and butter and thus it conveys overall socio-economical status of the person or a group it belongs to. However, status, skills, strength and smartness of any person cannot be determined by its complexion at all.

Related Articles:

1 comment:

  1. There are classifications when it comes to choosing a partner.


Please post your valuable comment here.