Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Rank and Status
The most common use of the term “rank” in anthropology is to designate one type of society among three (the others being egalitarian and class) regarding the people's access to economic resources, sociocultural power, and status. As stated in Cultural Anthropology (2004), “Rank societies do not have very unequal access to economic resources or to power, but they do contain social groups with unequal access to prestige. Rank societies, then, are partly stratified.” The most complex ranking systems are found in Polynesia. Status (or prestige) refers to a social position with a distinction usually made between “ascribed” and “achieved.” Ascribed status is assigned, often on the ...