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Global Status Hierarchies (continuation)

a PSC Small Fund Research Project

Investigator:   Shawn F. Dorius

Using a wide range of secondary data sources, this research argues for the existence of a global status hierarchy that confers honor and opportunities to high status countries and places constraints on the mobility of low status nations. A country’s position in the global status hierarchy is determined by its objective characteristics, including average income and education level, but also by the subjective evaluations of ordinary people and elites alike. In this way, nations, much like occupations, have objective characteristics as well as subjectively determined status positions. The combination of objective characteristics and subjective evaluations comprise a nation’s prestige and locate countries within the global status hierarchy. This research will a) extend micro-level stratification concepts to the world system, b) establish a new measure of national socioeconomic position and extend the measure back to the 1800s, c) assess mobility rates within the global stratification system over the last 150 years, d) link objective measures of national status to the subjective evaluations of ordinary people all around the world, and e) propose a framework and future research agenda that allows for more precise and universal measurement of national prestige. The measurement of the global status hierarchy represents a new area for global stratification research, and holds the potential to illuminate the cause’s of global inequalities. Further, the global status hierarchy has significant application in the social sciences as it is predictive of immigration patterns, foreign direct investment, bilateral and multinational treaties and trade agreements, tourism traffic, fertility and educational goals, and a host of other factors that directly and indirectly affect the wealth, poverty and social standing of nations and their citizens.

Funding Period: 03/01/2012 to 06/30/2013

Country of Focus: Global

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