CAD2 - 1 Status structures form within all different kinds...

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1 Status structures form within all different kinds of groups. They are important in that they affect the way people within a group interact with each other. Contemporarily, the word “status refers to a position in a set of things that are rank-ordered by a standard of value.” (Ridgeway et al. 1995, p. 281). Status structures can also mean a status hierarchy, where certain factors such as “attributes, possessions, and behavior, and the social groups [people] belong” (Ridgeway et al 1995, p. 281) determine a person’s rank. “Status structures are patterned inequalities of respect, deference, and influence among a group of people” (Ridgeway et al. 1995, p. 281). Two key ideas in this chapter that I found most interesting were the expectation states theory and legitimacy. The expectation states theory helps explain how a power and prestige order, or status order is formed. After a status structure is formed, legitimation processes affect its stability. The expectation states theory can be linked with mathematical processes that have helped it become well-tested and successful. “The theory’s basic argument is that the dynamics of a power and prestige order arise out of group members’ expectations about the value of their own and others’ contributions to group activities and the way those expectations, called performance expectations , affect their task-related behavior toward one another” (Ridgeway et al. 1995, p. 288). The theory applies to group situations where actors are working toward the fulfillment of a common goal in which success and failure exist. “An encounter can meet these conditions either because it is the meeting of an explicit task group, such as a committee, or because people interacting on another basis turn their attention to a collective task or decision” (Ridgeway et al. 1995, p. 288). Therefore, the theory is saying that when a group of people are working toward the best possible outcome of a task, a status order forms where the people who contribute the better ideas are ranked higher, and where the members of the group form performance expectations for each other, which define how good they expect others’ ideas and contributions
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2 to be. These expectations then affect how members of the group behave toward each other while performing the task. Members of the group also form performance expectations for themselves and compare their own performance expectations with those of other people. If the self performance expectation is higher than that of someone else, the person will be more likely to
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CAD2 - 1 Status structures form within all different kinds...

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