Our status in society may impact how we view the emotional meaning of some social concepts, according to a German study.
A survey of 2,849 German citizens found that most share a consensus on the emotional meaning of two basic social concepts, authority and community.
However, wealthier people view close relationships less positively and antisocial behaviour more negatively than those of lower socio-economic status.
“The fabric of human sociality is widely agreed to be made up of a set of elementary relational forms such as authority, community, status, power, and the sacred,” the researchers write.
Much of sociological research has been devoted to the idea that consensus is necessary for societies to exist in the first place.
“However, considerable intrasocietal variation in these meanings persists, as is evident in the diversity of political ideologies or religious beliefs,” they say.
The results of the study, “Consensus and stratification in the affective meaning of human sociality” by Jens Ambrasat, Christian von Scheve, Markus Conrad, Gesche Schauenburg, and Tobias Schröder of the Freie Universität Berlin, are published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).
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