RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences



RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences

Status: What Is It, and Why Does It Matter for Inequality?

Edited by

Cecilia L. Ridgeway
Stanford University

Hazel Rose Markus
Stanford University

Status can be defined simply as a comparative social ranking on the basis of esteem, honor, prestige, and respect which creates a form of inequality and hierarchy among those ranked. This simple definition, however, leaves unanswered complex questions about what status really is as a social process and why scholars of inequality should be concerned with it. For instance, what do we make of evidence that concerns about status are often as or more powerful motivators for life decisions than economic incentives? Why is it that threats to status foster conflicts and undermine performance, health and well-being? And why and how does status matter for broader patterns of inequality in society based on valued life outcomes such as wealth, power, and health? The proposed issue grows from the need for a deeper story about what the nature of status inequality is and how it works that will allow us to address such questions.

In this issue, we invite theoretical and empirical papers that seek to enlarge our understanding of the nature and significance of status as a form of inequality and that illuminate the roles status plays in driving, maintaining, or changing inequality in wealth, power, or well-being in contemporary advanced industrial societies. We welcome papers from across the social sciences, including sociology, psychology, organizational behavior, economics, political science, and communications. Papers may employ a variety of methods and data from quantitative to qualitative. We are interested in papers that address any aspect of our general call but that, in particular, deepen our understanding of what status really is as a social process. In the link below we offer a list of questions and issues, organized into broad themes, that such papers might address. This list is suggestive only and is not meant to limit the topics papers might cover.

Please click here for a full description of the topics covered in this call for articles.

Anticipated Timeline

Prospective contributors should submit a CV and an abstract (up to two pages in length, single or double spaced) of their study along with up to two pages of supporting material (e.g., tables, figures, pictures, etc.) no later than 5 PM EST on April 7, 2020, to:

(NOTE that if you wish to submit an abstract and do not yet have an account with us, it can take up to 48 hours to get credentials, so please start your application at least two days before the deadline.)

All submissions must be original work that has not been previously published in part or in full. Only abstracts submitted to will be considered. Each paper will receive a $1,000 honorarium when the issue is published. All questions regarding this issue should be directed to Suzanne Nichols, Director of Publications, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and not to the email addresses of the editors of the issue.

A conference will take place at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York City on February 26, 2021 (with a group dinner the night before). The selected contributors will gather for a one-day workshop to present draft papers (due a month prior to the conference (on 1/26/21) and receive feedback from the other contributors and editors. Travel costs, food, and lodging for one author per paper will be covered by the foundation. Papers will be circulated before the conference. After the conference, the authors will submit their revised drafts by 5/19/21. The papers will then be sent out to three additional scholars for formal peer review. Having received feedback from reviewers and the RSF board, authors will revise their papers by 11/1/21. The full and final issue will be published in the spring of 2022. Papers will be published open access on the RSF website as well as in several digital repositories, including JSTOR and UPCC/Muse.

Please click here for a full description of the topics covered in this call for articles.

Order RSF Books | Privacy Policy | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Russell Sage Foundation | 112 East 64th Street, New York, NY 10065 | (212) 750-6000



We all know workplace stress isn’t fun, but it may actually be killing you. Stanford professor Jeffrey Pfeffer argues that it is in his latest book 'Dying for a Paycheck'. Pfeffer argues the wellness revolution that has seen the introduction of workplace perks like yoga classes or mindfulness programmes has done little to tackle the underlying causes of workplace stress. He calls for a radical end to toxic employment practices – from job insecurity to overtime – that contribute to mental and physical health issues. He discussed the book, his views on leadership, and why authenticity is overrated on The Depolarization Project’s Changed My Mind podcast.

The European Association of Social Psychology will host a small group meeting to review twenty years of empirical research on dehumanisation and shape the future of the field. The meeting will address dehumanisation and objectification research since the rise of the MeToo movement, dehumanising social media rhetoric associated with increased nationalism, and populist opinions against immigration. The meeting will be held on Thursday, September 10th, 2020 through Saturday, September 12th, 2020, in Tenerife, Spain (submissions accepted until July 15th, 2020). The meeting is open to EASP members and non-members. 

From Google Scholar

Results of search: ('social power' OR 'social status' OR 'influence' OR 'agency' OR 'control') AND ('psychology' OR 'sociology' OR 'anthropology' OR 'political science' OR 'government' OR 'economics')

Structure and agency: themes from experimental economics

SPH Heap - A Research Agenda for Critical Political Economy, 2020

The individual preferences that people reveal through their choices in laboratory experiments are often unstable. That is, people often confront what is the same decision problem from a rational choice perspective several times and they do not …

Linkages to Budgetary Control and Budgetary Absorption Performance

A Gunawan, W Yadiati, H Suharman, KP Sofia - International Journal of Economics …, 2020

This study aims to examine the effect of budgetary control on the performance of budgetary absorption. The Research method used was a survey of a population comprising 548 provincial/Regency/city governments in Indonesia with 231 samples …

10 minutes with Professor Amiran Gamkrelidze, Director General of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health of Georgia

A Gamkrelidze, K Walsh - BMJ Leader, 2020

… been training doctors in a wide range of things—including COVID-19 and infection control … The government and the opposition listened to the professionals and followed their recommendations … have not declared a …

Making sense of the confusing mix of digitalization, pandemics and economics

V Grover, R Sabherwal - International Journal of Information Management, 2020

… As countries struggle with control of Covid-19, it is fascinating to observe the hundreds … of processes that offer important new value to consumers and positively influence all economic … It reveals and acerbates the widening gaps …

The Relationship Between Business and Government to 1945

S Mollan - Imperialism and Economic Development in Sub …, 2020

… Kaufmann, “Seize the State, Seize the Day: State Capture and Influence in Transition … Kesner, Economic Control and Colonial Development: Crown Colony Financial Management in the … of Contents'; SAD 417/2/104-109 'Draft …

Perceived discrimination and educational attainment for US Black adults: the influence of Black racial identity

CA Berwise, JA Mena - Social Psychology of Education, 2020

Few studies have examined the role of Black racial identity as a moderator of the relation between perceived discrimination and educational attainment among Black US adults. We explored this question in a sample of 370 self-identified Black adults …

The Evolution of Policy Instruments for Air Pollution Control in China: A Content Analysis of Policy Documents from 1973 to 2016

X Zhao, CW Thomas, T Cai - Environmental Management, 2020

… things as their historical evolution, main subjects, frequency of use, and whether they were issued by a single agency or jointly … Second, we limited the analysis to policy documents directly related to regional air-pollution …

[PDF]Efficacy and economics of integrated weed management in groundnut (Arachis hypogea L.)

O ADEMABAYOJE, J ADIGUN, O ADEYEMI… - Acta agriculturae Slovenica, 2020

… or propaben and fb shw will improve weed control, productivity and profitability of groundnut production. Mul- tiple hoe weeding, however, did not guarantee the highest profit but rather increased the cost of production …