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The Spread of Status Value: A Theoretical Extension

Advances in Group Processes

ISBN: 978-1-78190-976-8

Publication date: 11 August 2014



The Spread of Status Value theory describes how new diffuse status characteristics can arise out of the association of initially non-valued characteristics to existing status characteristics that are already well-established in a society. Our objective is to extend this theory so that it describes how still other status elements, which have become of interest to researchers such as “status objects” (Thye, 2000) and “valued roles” (Fişek, Berger, & Norman, 1995), can also be socially created.


Our approach involves reviewing research that is relevant to the Spread of Status Value theory, and in introducing concepts and assumptions that are applicable to status objects and valued roles.


Our major results are an elaborated theory that describes the construction of status objects and valued roles, a graphic representation of one set of conditions in which this creation process is predicted to occur, and a design for a further empirical test of the Spread of Status Value theory. This extension has social implications. It opens up the possibility of creating social interventions that involve status objects and valued roles to ameliorate dysfunctional social situations.


Our elaborated theory enables us to understand for the first time how different types of status valued elements can, under appropriate conditions, be socially created or socially modified as a result of the operation of what are fundamentally similar processes.



Berger, J. and Fişek, M.H. (2014), "The Spread of Status Value: A Theoretical Extension", Advances in Group Processes (Advances in Group Processes, Vol. 30), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 77-107.



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