AIAS Lunch Seminar 17 oktober: Marii Paskov (AIAS)

Day:|Thursday October 17th 2013 |
|Time:|12.15 – 13.15 hrs.|
|Location:|AIAS, 3rd floor, M building, Plantage Muidergracht 12, Amsterdam|
|Registration:|Please send an email, preferably before Wednesday October 16th 12.00 to register.
A sandwich will then be provided|

Solidarity and Status-Seeking: A Trade-Off? Investigating the Moderating Role of Societal Context

Marii Paskov


The objective of this paper is to study the relationship between solidarity and status seeking, and whether societal context moderates the association between the two. Solidarity is defined as willingness to contribute to the well-being of other people and status seeking is defined as a pursuit for a higher position in the social hierarchy. Some literature suggests that solidarity and status seeking are trade-offs; self-oriented individuals are expected to be less caring about others. At the same time there is strong empirical evidence that people contributing to the well-being of others are awarded with status and esteem, which suggests that helping others can be used as a strategy to attain heightened position in the social hierarchy. From this perspective, status oriented individuals should demonstrate more eagerness to help others. The first objective of this paper is to put these ideas to an empirical test by looking at the relationship between status seeking and solidarity. The second objective of this paper is to study whether societal context, in terms of equality of incomes and governmental welfare effort, plays a moderating role by altering the relationship between status seeking and solidarity. This study is based on a cumulative European Social Survey that combines five waves of data collected in the period of 2002-2010, allowing for both between and within country analysis. The results show that there is a strong positive relationship between status seeking and solidarity; people eager to attain social status are also more willing to help others. This suggests that people might indeed express solidarity in pursuit of enhanced reputation and esteem. The results also show that the positive association is stronger in societies with high income inequality and low governmental welfare effort, suggesting that solidarity might be more highly rewarded in inegalitarian contexts.

Keywords: Solidarity, status seeking, income inequality, welfare effort, contextual moderators.

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