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What is the importance of social status?

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Social status is important even in countries like the United States that are relatively egalitarian.  Social status is important because it can help to determine one’s life chances.

In the US, most status is achieved status.  We put people in classes based largely on their wealth.  Those people who are in the higher classes generally have more opportunities in life.  They are treated with more respect by a broad range of people.  Their wealth and their status opens doors for them and gives them opportunities, particularly in economic terms, that other people lack.  It is for this reason that social status remains important even in the US.

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