Status group

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The German sociologist Max Weber formulated a three-component theory of stratification in which he defines status group[1] (also known as status class or status estate[2]) as a group of people (part of a society) that can be differentiated on the basis of non-economical qualities like honour, prestige and religion.[3] The German word for status group is "Stand," the plural of which is "Staende."

Since Max Weber, the issue of status inconsistency has been the object of many studies, particularly in the post-industrial societies and also because of an intervening factor: religion, particularly in emerging nations.[4]

Weber writes that status groups emerge from "the house of honor."

Such status honor is contrasted with:

Together, these concepts are described as Weber's "Three-component theory of stratification"

Weber's discussion of the relationships between status groups, social class, and political parties is found in his essay "Class, Status, Party" which was written in German before World War I. The first English translation was done by Hans Gerth and C. Wright Mills and published in the 1940s. This version has been republished many times since. A new English translation called "The distribution of power within the community: Classes, Stände, Parties" and translated by Dagmar Waters and her colleagues and published in the Journal of Classical Sociology (2010). In this translation, the German word "Stand" is used, rather than the English "status group."[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reinhart Bendix. 1960. Max Weber: An Intellectual Portrait. p105. London: Heinemann.
  2. ^ Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich (eds). 1978. Economy and society: an outline of interpretive sociology, Volume 1. p.300. University of California Press
  3. ^ Terry N. Clark, Seymour Martin Lipset, The breakdown of class politics 
  4. ^ From Social Class and Religious Identity to Status Incongruence in Post-Industrial Societies by Mattei Dogan in Comparative Sociology 2004
  5. ^ "The distribution of power within the community: Classes, Staende, Parties" Journal of Classical Sociology 2010:137-152,
  6. ^ The New Zeppelin University of "Class, Status, Party" by Tony Waters and Dagmar Waters, Journal of Classical Sociology 2010:142-148