Tag Archives | Status Construction Theory

Global Diversity and Local Consensus in Status Beliefs: The Role of Network Clustering and Resistance to Belief Change

André Grow, Andreas Flache, Rafael P. M. Wittek

Sociological Science, November 6, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a25

Formal models of status construction theory suggest that beliefs about the relative social worth and competence of members of different social groups can emerge from face-to-face interactions in task-focused groups and eventually become consensual in large populations. We propose two extensions of earlier models. First, we incorporate the microlevel behavioral assumption of status construction theory that people can become resistant to belief change when a belief appears consensual in their local social environment. Second, we integrate the insight that the macro-level social structure of face-to-face interactions in large populations often is a clustered network structure. Computational experiments identify an outcome that was not anticipated by earlier formalizations. The combination of network clustering at the macrolevel and resistance to belief change at the microlevel can constrain the diffusion of status beliefs and generate regional variation in status beliefs. Further experiments identify conditions under which this outcome obtains.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
André Grow: Centre for Sociological Research, KU Leuven
Email: andre.grow@kuleuven.be

Andreas Flache: Department of Sociology/Interuniversity Centre for Social Science Theory and Methodology, University of Groningen
Email: a.flache@rug.nl

Rafael P. M. Wittek: Department of Sociology/Interuniversity Centre for Social Science Theory and Methodology, University of Groningen
Email: r.p.m.wittek@rug.nl

Acknowledgements: The first author conducted most of his research for this article as a PhD student at the Department of Sociology/Interuniversity Centre for Social Science Theory and Methodology of the University of Groningen. We thank the members of the department, in particular the members of the research group Norms and Networks, for their helpful feedback. Earlier versions of this article have been presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association and the 2013 Conference of the International Network of Analytical Sociologists.

  • Citation: Grow, André, Andreas Flache, and Rafael P. M. Wittek. 2017. “Global Diversity and Local Consensus in Status Beliefs: The Role of Network Clustering and Resistance to Belief Change.” Sociological Science 4: 611-640.
  • Received: July 30, 2017
  • Accepted: September 23, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Delia Baldassarri
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a25
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