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Crossing boundaries: why hierarchical social order (almost always) persists over time when it is being challenged

Diefenbach, T. and Sillince, J.A.A. (2009) Crossing boundaries: why hierarchical social order (almost always) persists over time when it is being challenged. In: 25th EGOS Colloquium, 2009-07-02 - 2009-07-04. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

There is a widely shared understanding that (almost all) human societies, social systems and organisations have been structured as group-based social hierarchies (e.g. Courpasson / Clegg 2006, Sidanius / Pratto 1999, Scott 1990, Mousnier 1973, Laumann et al. 1971). One way or another, most social systems are based on relationships of superiors and subordinates, master and servant, manager and employee - at least, so far. Because of their different status both have quite different views on the world in general, and the social system in particular. Nonetheless, although superiors' and subordinates' status and social positions, their interests and ideologies, power and social actions differ to quite some extent, exactly this strange relationship and interaction seems to produce persistent social order.