Sizing Up the Nightlife – A study of status distinction.

The article linked above highlights a study by a sociologist at the Kellogg school of business, Dr. Lauren Rivera. It’s a fascinating summary detailing the incredibly intricate status distinctions at New York night clubs.

A few thoughts:

  • Since this is an elite setting, celebrity and celebrity-association are the strongest determiners. After that comes wealth. After that comes gender (women first).
  • Bribes seem to be outdated and unwelcome, even though they indicate wealth.
  • The best thing a guy can do if he is a “new face” is to (Duh!) bring young, attractive women with you, and dress well.
  • The author notes that (attractive) women are given more value than men. She notes that this is opposite of the typical, more cliche dynamic like that in a workplace. But she doesn’t seem to note the fact that men follow hot women to an establishment, but not the other way around.
  • Note that dressing well for a club, and being “well-dressed” are two different things. The author notes “elegantly-dressed” men being turned away…but doesn’t seem to recognize that there’s something inherently wrong with wearing a suit to a dance club.
  • Behavior matters less as a status-factor in this situation, because the decision takes place in a split second. So ask yourself, if you had to, how do you show your social value in a way that’s instantly recognizable?

What do you think? Please take a moment and leave a comment below.


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