plenty of people have gained in absolute status over the past 50 years while declining in relative status, and it’s relative status that people are sensitive to.
What does this even mean?In what sense is”absolute status” a thing?
life expectancy, comfort, number and size of televisions, car horsepower, etc.
First of all, it’s serious terminology abuse to lump all values under the term “status”.
Secondly, I see sentiments like this a lot, but rarely see evidence. Obviously relative social status is a thing (many) people care about, but whence the claim that it’s only relative stuff that people care about?
yes, it was a lazy elision. perhaps a more accurate thing would be to say that although material conditions and comfort have improved markedly for many people over the past 50 years, some of those people will feel that their status relative to other people has dropped, due to changes in media, increased travel and awareness of other communities, and decreased local social ties, among other factors.
I think argumate overstates the point, but there is evidence (summed up here on wikipedia, e.g.) that absolute wealth matters less, and sociometric status matters more, than people expect. Kahneman also talks about this phenomenon in his work, e.g. Thinking Fast and Slow.
if it didn’t, you would expect hunter gatherers to be incredibly unhappy and inhabitants of industrialised nations to be over the fucking moon, when if anything the opposite appears to be the case.
but compare being a farmer in US of 1950 to being a farmer today: you are likely to spend more time consuming media that present you as being low status relative to coastal elites, citizens of other countries, and people of different ethnic and racial backgrounds, all while your ties to the local community have likely weakened.
Isn’t Denmark rated the happiest country on Earth? Surely their wealth has a role in that.
The official website of the Danish government explains: “Money is not as important as social life here,” according to Danish economics professor Christian Bjornskov.
have u considered: employed academician probably worries about his social life more than his economic status.
I know the poor of Denmark. They want money.