umu.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Social status and life satisfaction in context: a comparison between Sweden and the USA
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3349-5778
2018 (English)In: International Journal of Wellbeing, ISSN 1179-8602, E-ISSN 1179-8602, Vol. 8, no 2, p. 110-134Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous research has shown that social status is an important predictor of life satisfaction (LS). However, researchers have largely focused on the United States, which raises questions about the extent to which the cultural context moderates the relationship between social status and LS. In this paper, we argue that the dominant cultural orientations in society most likely influence the strength of the relationship between social status and LS. Cultural orientations emphasizing competition, achievement and assertiveness should increase the positive influence of social status on LS, while cultural emphases on cooperation, equality and humility instead weakens the effect of status. We therefore analyze the social status-LS relationship in two distinctly different cultural contexts, i.e., Sweden and the United States. Based on theories about national differences in cultural value orientations, we argue that social status should be of more importance in the US compared to in Sweden, since the dominant values and ideals emphasize hierarchy, mastery and masculinity, while the Swedish culture represents an opposite pole by emphasizing egalitarianism, harmony, and femininity. We formulate a number of hypotheses and use survey data to examine the extent to which both social status attainment and social status seeking are related to LS in both countries. The results show that socioeconomic status (income) and sociometric status (perceived respect and admiration in everyday life) have a stronger influence on LS in the US compared to in Sweden. Further, the findings show that social status seeking (low honesty-humility) has a positive relationship to LS in the US, but is negatively related in Sweden. The results also show that gender differences in the relationship between social status and LS are more pronounced in the US compared to in Sweden. We conclude that both the attainment and pursuit of social status are more important for LS in the American cultural context compared to in the Swedish, especially among men. These findings are in line with our expectations, based on the opposing cultural orientations in Sweden and the US. The study contributes to the literature on the relationship between social status and LS, but also to the more general literature on the moderating influence of culture on the predictors of LS.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 8, no 2, p. 110-134
Keywords [en]
subjective well-being, SWB, social status, cultural orientations, socioeconomic status, sociometric status, status seeking, Sweden, USA
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology; Social Medicine
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-153932DOI: 10.5502/ijw.v8i2.710OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-153932DiVA, id: diva2:1269170
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-1117Available from: 2018-12-09 Created: 2018-12-09 Last updated: 2018-12-11Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(1369 kB)177 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1369 kBChecksum SHA-512
9c03750f10a3ebd8a07d820525408da2413bc43de13c5a09033deb095a888ac94353010def4ce9b2b8d781ca5ed5ce1c51f1f28fed5a072d1f8ce774d54c50ec
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full textURL

Authority records BETA

Fors Connolly, FilipJohansson Sevä, Ingemar

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Fors Connolly, FilipJohansson Sevä, Ingemar
By organisation
Department of Sociology
In the same journal
International Journal of Wellbeing
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 177 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

doi
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
urn-nbn
Total: 2012 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf