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Social Stratification of status groups

While class is broadly perceived as grouping on the basis of economic criteria, status is based on prestige, goodwill, fame, personal qualities and social capital of an individual. Status is seen in terms of social position. Status is both achieved as well as ascriptive. Another difference between status and class is that while the members of a status group are generally conscious of their affiliation to that group, class membership is more difficult to trace. As a society becomes developed, status is also defined. New occupations and new opportunities for mobility lead to opening of strata. Mobility in status-based groups is more in modern capitalist societies and less in developing societies. 

Status is one of the dimensions of stratification according to Max Weber and he differentiates it from class as social estimation of honor. Status is associated with consumption and not production. According to Weber, caste is the most developed form of status-based stratification.

WL Warner in his The Social Life of a Modern Community 1941emphasises on social status instead of economic class. He considers three variables that are education, occupation and income as determinants of status.

Pierre Bourdieu in his An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology 1992 also proposed that lifestyle choices rather than class are more important today. Individual identities are now shaped by lifestyle choices rather than by more traditional indicators like occupation. He made a departure from class to status and enumerated four dimensions of status as cultural capital, economic capital, social capital and symbolic capital.

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