Status

In Tom Wolfe’s scheme of things, reports a New York Times Magazine profile (11.31), social behavior is almost always determined by status consciousness — an instinct to preserve your place in the social pecking order. Pretty much all human endeavor “has to do with status,” says the 74 year-old author of “I Am Charlotte Simmons” (excerpted in Rolling Stone, in book stores November 9). “Or STATE-us, which is the way you say it if you want more status.” Our status awareness is so fundamental, Wolfe says, that “there may even be a specific place in the brain that creates it,” the article relates. “Status is neurological, in other words…people aren’t so much interested in scaling the social ladder as in clinging to their own, hard-earned rung.” For what it’s worth, I can say with some authority that Wolfe’s theory is observable in Los Angeles entertainment journalist circles.

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    Our status awareness is so fundamental, Wolfe says, that “there may even be a specific place in the brain that creates it,” the article relates. “Status is neurological, in other words…people aren’t so much interested in scaling the social ladder as in clinging to their own, hard-earned rung.” For what it’s worth, I can say with some authority that Wolfe’s theory is observable in Los Angeles entertainment journalist circles.

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