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Elite (un)conspicuousness : theoretical reflections an ostentation vs. understatement

Zur (Un)Sichtbarkeit von Eliten : theoretische Überlegungen zum Umgang mit den Insignien der Macht
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Daloz, Jean-Pascal

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Abstract "Comparative research suggests that in some settings the conspicuous flaunting of one's assets is expected, while 'unconspicuousness' is likely to be interpreted in terms of diffidence or lack of wherewithal. Conversely, in other contexts, distinction may require studied understatement, and an excessive concern with display of rank would eventually undermine one's reputation. Yet, social theorists have often tended to see only one side of the coin. The purpose of this article is to highlight complexity and propose various hypotheses for dealing with significant variations in elite behaviour, with a view to developing non-dogmatic interpretations of the logics underpinning conspicuousness and unconspicuousness." (author's abstract)
Keywords elite; elite research; power; symbol; distinction; comparative research; analysis; sociological theory; legitimation; interaction; communication; complexity; network; political regime; cultural factors; behavior; integration; historical analysis; Western world; theory comparison
Classification General History; Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Method basic research; theory formation
Document language English
Publication Year 2012
Page/Pages p. 209-222
Journal Historical Social Research, 37 (2012) 1
Issue topic Elite foundations of social theory and politics / Elitetheoretische Grundlagen sozialwissenschaftlicher Theoriebildung und politischer Analyse
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works