This is one of those topics that has no particular design or agenda lurking behind it. It was spurred by all of those studies and surveys that show that many Trump voters were motivated by anger at losing economic and/or social status in a 21st century economy an culture that (allegedly) devalues people like them. But, there are a number of different ways our discussion could go.
We could talk about the role that social status and social rank play in psychology and society. We could discuss the purported recent rise in generalized anxiety in the United States and try to relate it to social status concerns, especially those of Trump voters. We could even get into the role anxiety plays in say, adolescence, or examine anxiety disorders, like agoraphobia and PTSD.
Maybe some of you know something about these or other aspects of social status that are non-political. I don’t. So after some reading (including the ones below) I will turn what I learn into a short introduction to open our meeting.
Also, I added some new meetings from our schedule to the Meet-up site. The dates for two meetings in June have been switched to accommodate someone who knows a lot about one of the topics and really wants to be there. The new order is:
- June 18th – Brinksmanship as a foreign policy tool.
- June 25th – Power and privacy in an age of Big Data corporations.
Trump’s meeting with North Korea’s leader is supposed to happen on June 12th, so that works out well. Revised hard copies will be available Monday.
SUGGESTED BACKGROUND READING –
- What does social status mean (short)? How does social status fit within social structures? Or: Wiki article on social status.
- Anxiety disorders are common. (More in this FAQ.)
Is status anxiety on the rise?
- Our broken meritocracy has caused a wave of status anxiety to sweep the United States. Recommended.
- Guns: Is our unique gun culture a product of status anxiety?
- Violence: Is ours so high due to violence’s relationship to low socioeconomic status?
Trump voters –
- Loss of social status was their main motivator. Or was it?
- Yeah it was, albeit in a complex way that deserves some sympathy. Recommended.
- Unfairness: It was his voters’ sense of the unfair way their security and status were taken from them that was the motivator. Long but a great read.
NEXT WEEK: Do the genders really communicate differently?