hot and who's not? Why people are like chickens - Have
you noticed how adults reckon each other up by what they do rather than what
they are? If you meet someone new at a party, their first question will be about
what your job is. If you don't have a 'proper' job, they don't think much of
you. You end up having low status - as well as no money - if you have no job.
So the better the job, the more money you have so the more status you have too.
Status, or rank, is very important to many animals - especially people. Chickens
have a 'pecking order' with a top-ranking bird who dominates the others. Lower
status birds have to give way or they get pecked. It's just the same with humans,
both adults and kids. There's always some poor kid who nobody likes at the bottom
of the pecking order. And there'll be some other top cat who everyone thinks
is really cool, wants to copy and be friends with.
Who's who in status in this picture?
In the grown-up world of business and jobs, people show their status by the clothes they wear at work. High status men wear grey suits and ties just about everywhere. (Why do people wear ties? What use are they? Suits at least have pockets and keep you warm.) Some really top status people wear crowns and very fancy clothes. Or they have special names to show how important they are like 'Lord' or 'Mr President'. Or they may have servants and buy huge cars, mansions and expensive art works to show off their high status. Still other 'big shots' surround themselves with 'toadies' - lower status 'yes men' who 'suck up' to their boss, hoping that one day they'll get to be Mr Big. There are much ruder names for toadies!
There are all kinds of other ways humans can tell each other's status. More education = higher status for a start. Skin colour is important to some. In some groups of people, men have higher status than women automatically. Not surprisingly, many women don't like this. Even in countries where women are supposed to be equal with men, almost all the top status, best paid and most powerful jobs (president, prime minister, heads of corporations) are taken by men. What do you think about that?