What does it mean to have intermediate status and what groups in the US have this status?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

People have several different types of social status simultaneously, based on their participation in multiple simultaneous hierarchies. For example, one has status based on race, gender, sexual orientation and income.

Certain types of status can be framed as binary oppositions between low and high. In the United States, males have higher status than females. While sexual orientation does include a binary opposition between gay and straight, there are also intermediary groups such as bisexuals and members of the BDSM community. Similarly, ethnicity is not simply an opposition in the United States as it once was between low status blacks and Latinos and high status whites, but now includes intermediary groups such as mixed race and immigrants for the Middle East and eastern Europe. In income and profession, there are high status executives, doctors, and lawyers and low status unemployed or marginally employed, but also intermediary statuses with respect to both skills and income, such as schoolteachers, nurses, etc.