Tag: social status

Value of Symbols


justice and COVID-19Observed outside a Circle K recently: two men approached on battered bicycles. One black, one white, they were both desert-lean and weathered. They knew long-term poverty.

Said the black man to the white: “They’re so stupid, they pull down a statue and throw it in the river!” Answered the white man: “Thousands of pounds of bronze!”

This conversation illustrates the Grand Canyon-sized gap between the leftist punks and the poor, those truly without “privilege.” A brief explanation for the perplexed: these were scrap men. They scavenge metal for cash and are acutely aware of the current local market value of every metal. When they see a bronze statue being pulled down by wealthy young whites LARPing* as revolutionaries, these men accurately estimate weight and dollars per pound.

Amy Alkon, Advice Goddess and author of “science-help book” Unf*ckology, drops in for a fascinating conversation with Bridget about living in the modern age with Stone Age brains, the evolutionary importance of social status and why “thirstiness” is such a turn-off, and how her career giving advice began as a joke when she stood on a street corner in New York holding a “Free Advice” sign and people began to line up. They cover the social importance of guilt and shame, getting comfortable with discomfort, that self-esteem is a monitoring system to help you figure out where you stand socially, and the fact that we’re living under mob rule and we don’t even realize it. Finally, don’t miss Amy’s theory that if you imagine the worst thing that can happen to you is your kitchen appliances coming to life at night and hacking you to death, you should be able to put small things like feeling awkward and looking stupid in social situations into perspective.

Is Christianity Rejected Because It’s a “Low Status” Signifier?


I came across this intriguing post from Patheos’ site. The thesis is that in the aftermath of such things as the Scopes monkey trial, being a Christian has become a marker of low status, and that this explains both its decline and lack of appeal as well as the failure of attempts to “engage the culture” by making it appear hip.

The idea behind the “engaging the culture” movement was that, rather than withdrawing from the surrounding culture as their fundamentalist cousins did, evangelicals should go forth to meet it. The expected outcome of this going forth was a revival of Christian faith.