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Idaho State University

ISU Sociology Professor Publishes Book on Social Status Research

ISU Sociology Professor Publishes Book on Social Status Research


Anthony Hoskin, an associate professor in Idaho State University’s Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminology, recently published a book alongside colleagues from The University of Malaya that attempts to summarize everything that has been linked to social status.

The Handbook of Social Status Correlates reports associations between various measures of social status including parental income, years of education, occupational level, income/wealth, leadership/eminence and social mobility and various outcomes including family and peers, personality and behavior, attitudes, beliefs and more.

“My colleagues and I wanted to understand what the world social science literature had to say about the importance of social status,” Hoskin said. “A single study from one country during one time period can say almost anything, but the picture that emerges from 8,000 studies is much more reliable.”

Hoskin and his colleagues spent several years writing the book, as collecting, organizing and synthesizing the results of 8,000 studies was a large project. Hoskin said they tracked down and read the studies, then extracted the main findings and summarized them into relevant tables.

After the hundreds of tables were completed, they summarized them into narrative form and discussed the important review studies. Next, they determined which findings were considered universal and last, they hinted at the kind of theory of social status that would conform to the global picture.

Hoskin worked with Lee Ellis, a former professor at the University of Malaya, and Malini Ratnasigam, a professor at the University of Malaya, on the book. Hoskin said he and his colleagues hope that the book will inform theory and reinforce the message that social status matters and is tied to just about all of the life conditions we care about.

Hoskin said the book was designed as a global authority on the study of social status. Students and scholars can now access one source to get a comprehensive overview of social status research.