status symbol

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See also: statussymbol



For many people, luxury cars are status symbols


status symbol (plural status symbols)

  1. A visible possession that is a sign of one's personal wealth or social status.
    • 1971 August 18, Edward C. Fritz, witness, “Statement of Edward C. Fritz, Air Quality Coalition of North Central Texas”, in Public Hearings on Noise Abatement and Control [], volume III (Urban Planning, Architectural Design; and Noise in the Home), Washington, D.C.: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, published 1973, OCLC 65154000, page 5:
      There are power mowers, which industry and technology are efficiently building noisier and noisier and bigger and bigger. And it seems that the power mower is something that is a status symbol now, and the rate of status depends on the amount of noise that you are able to put out.
    • 1995, Larry C. Ingram, “What’s in a Name? The Significance of Position”, in The Study of Organizations: Positions, Persons, and Patterns, Westport, Conn.; London: Praeger Publishing, Greenwood Publishing Group, →ISBN, page 31:
      In addition to facilitating identification, status symbols have two other functions. First, they act to dignify relationships, to bring a sense of formality or respectability to the situation. [...] Second, status symbols are often important in motivation. One has to be amazed at the time and effort that a high school athlete will invest to earn the right to wear a letter jacket—which his parents will have to purchase in many school districts!
    • 2015, Jennifer A. Jordan, “A Short History of Heirloom Tomatoes”, in Edible Memory: The Lure of Heirloom Tomatoes & Other Forgotten Foods, Chicago, Ill.; London: University of Chicago Press, →ISBN, page 65:
      It can be a good thing for biodiversity to have a turkey or tomato become a status symbol. [...] [T]he heirloom tomato does not decrease in availability when it becomes a symbol of elite status and good taste.
    • 2018 June 5, Jonah Engel Bromwich; Vanessa Friedman; Matthew Schneier, “Kate Spade, whose handbags carried women into adulthood, is dead at 55”, in The New York Times[1], New York, N.Y.: The New York Times Company, ISSN 0362-4331, OCLC 971436363:
      Her [Kate Spade's] name became a shorthand for the cute, clever bags that were an instant hit with cosmopolitan women in the early stages of their careers and, later, young girls – status symbols of a more attainable, all-American sort than a Fendi clutch or Chanel bag.


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