Status group

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The German sociologist Max Weber formulated a three-component theory of stratification that defines status group[1] (also status class and status estate)[2] as a group of people who, within a society, can be differentiated on the basis of non-economic qualities such as honour, prestige, and religion.[3] The German terms are Stand (status group) and Stände (status groups).

Since the time of Max Weber, the matter of “status incongruence” has been much studied in post-industrial societies, and especially in under-developed countries because of the intervening social factor that is religion.[4]

Weber said that status groups emerge from "the house of honor", and that such status-honor is in contrast with:

These are the constituent concepts of the Three-component theory of stratification. Discussion of the relationships among status groups, social class, and political parties is in the essay "Class, Status, Party", written before the First World War (1914–18); the first translation to English, by Hans Gerth and C. Wright Mills, was published in the 1940s. A newer English translation of the essay, titled “The Distribution of Power within the Community: Classes, Stände, Parties” (2010), was by Dagmar Waters and colleagues, and published in the “Journal of Classical Sociology”; the title of the new English-language translation includes the German word “Stände” (status groups) in place of the English term.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reinhart Bendix. 1960. Max Weber: An Intellectual Portrait. p. 105. 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