Status (from classical sociologist Max Weber)

Weber family: ca. 1888. Max Weber (Jr.) on the...
Weber family: ca. 1888. Max Weber (Jr.) on the right. To the left, possibly: Max Weber. Sr, Helene Weber, Max. Jr. two out of three brothers (Alfred, Arthur, Karl), then possibly sisters? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When translated from the work of German sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920), status refers to a type of social honor or prestige associated with positions held by, for instance, an esteemed professor, a judge or member of the clergy.

Weber’s account of status belongs within a three part analysis of culture—class, status and party. For Weber, social stratification does not just depend on money. One may enjoy status but not class (economic wealth). Similarly, one may enjoy belonging to a party (having political power) but not necessarily be wealthy (class) or respected (status).

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French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu supports unemployed workers in Paris, France on January 16, 1998.

Weber wrote well before Pierre Bourdieu articulated his idea of “cultural capital.” So his triparate analysis was, at the time, quite innovative. Weber also wrote prior to allegations about Roman Catholic pedophile, pornography and money laundering activities that have tainted public perception of the clergy and the Vatican in general. Not to say that illegal/unethical sex and money laundering allegations are specific to Catholicism. But investigations into the possibility that this most hallowed of institutions would repeatedly sully itself in this way has alerted many.

Suffice it to say that the perceived “status” of the Catholic clergy has taken a big hit since the days of Max Weber. Also, many non-Catholic preachers and politicians have been caught with their pants down, as it were.¹

Dr. Daniel Robinson notes that Weber wanted to be objective; but this, for all intents and purposes, is impossible and nobody today would see Weber as being objective.²

¹ Here’s an interesting site that lists how to recognize a fraud pastor »

² See

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