Social Classes: Status Symbols
Status symbols are those items in society which provide meaning and significance to a specific social class. For example, a BMW is often associated with wealth. An orange jumpsuit is often associated with a prisoner. Based on these illustrations, respond to the following questions as stipulated in the instructions.
Do those from lower or higher social classes try to manipulate perceptions of their status through their use of status symbols? Why would individuals participate in such behavior? Explain your reasoning, and provide specific examples where you have seen this behavior in society.
For example, do wealthy people ever try to minimize others’ perception of their wealth by driving modest sedans, wearing little or no jewelry, and buying off-the-rack clothing? Do poorer people ever try to increase others’ perceptions of their status by leasing vehicles they cannot afford to buy or wearing clothing that displays well-known logos (e.g., the Nike “swoosh”)?