Culture and stratification

Authored by: Omar Lizardo

Handbook of Cultural Sociology

Print publication date:  July  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415474450
eBook ISBN: 9780203891377
Adobe ISBN: 9781134026159


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Canonical treatments of the link between culture and stratification in sociology typically focus on the role of culture as a resource for the formation and differentiation of status groups (Bourdieu 1984; Beisel 1997). The classical differentiation between status situation and class situation (Weber 1946: 300–01) provides the analytic foundation and the point of departure for current work on the subject. While often conflated, the terms class and status must remain analytically distinct in order for their empirical interrelationship to be meaningfully examined (Chan and Goldthorpe 2007). The class situation is best characterized by “opportunities to gain sustenance and income” (Weber 1946: 301). The status situation, on the other hand, entails “every typical component of the fate of … individuals determined by means of a specific positive or negative social estimation” (Weber 1994: 113).

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