The sociologist Max Weber formulated a three-component theory of stratification in which he defines status class (also known as a status group) 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.
In modern societies, occupation is usually thought of as the main determinant of status, but even in modern societies other memberships or affiliations (such as ethnic group, religion, gender, voluntary associations, fandom, hobby) can have an influence.
Status inconsistency is a situation when an individual's social positions have both positive and negative influences on his social status.
Groups whose world-views are most undermined by such changes, as well as people who have the most to lose from a change in status relationships, will understandably seek to halt what they see as an accelerating slide toward moral degeneration.
Groups lower in a status hierarchy may respond to their lower status by developing a compensatory sense of esteem in their own ways of living, condemning the lifestyles of higher statusgroups as immoral or inauthentic, or attempting to turn their lower status into a point of pride through irony.
The idea of "statusgroups" may be confusing at first because lawyers have their own concept of "status" which is used in a number of legal contexts and forms the basis for many important doctrines.
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