Social Status and Social Power Subject Headings

Which subject headings are used to express social status and social power?

“Social status” is the most inclusive heading although “Power (social sciences)” and “Prestige” are listed by LCSH as broader headings. “Social status” includes the concepts Social standing (also Standing, Social), Socio-economic status (also Socioeconomic status), and Status, Social–none of which are legitimate LCSH terms. Narrower headings include “Fascism and social status,” “Marital status,” “Social classes,” “Social role,” “Speech and social status,” and “Wit and social status.” “Social status” may be subdivided geographically as can “Social status–Age factors.” Works which specifically address social status and language or religion will be found under “Speech and social status” and “Religion and social status” respectively. “Social status in art” and “Social status in literature” may not be subdivided geographically.

More specific “Power (social sciences)” headings include “Power (social sciences) in art,” “Power (social sciences in literature)” and “Power (social sciences) in motion pictures”– none of which can be subdivided geographically.

Appearing as see also under the heading “Social status” is the much broader subdivision “Social conditions.” It can be used to modify “names of countries, cities, etc.” and for “classes of persons and ethnic groups” (e.g., “Cuba–Social conditions” and “Students–Social conditions”). This subdivision can be further subdivided by century starting with the 16th century through the 21st century (e.g., “Cuba–Social conditions–19th century”).

LCSH does not cross reference “Social status” with “Social Stratification,” “Social structure,” or “Social mobility” though these headings are related concepts.

In practice this set of headings is inconsistently applied, e.g., George Peter Murdock’s classic overview of the subject Social Structure (1949) is not always assigned the LCSH “Social structure” and Verena Martinez-Alier’s Marriage, Class and Colour in Nineteenth-Century Cuba (1974) is rarely assigned “Social classes,” “Social status,” “Marital status,” or “Prestige.”

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