The present research investigated to what extent two Western cultures, France and the United States, differed in making status-related judgements based on a person’s familial class background. Consistent with the eco-historical origins of French and American status beliefs, Study 1 (N = 77) showed that French more than American participants perceived an unknown community member with higher (compared to lower) familial class background to have greater status-related characteristics. Study 2 (N = 213) showed that French more than American participants also expected a job candidate with higher (compared to lower) familial class background to attain higher status in the workplace. Study 3 (N = 231) experimentally manipulated upward mobility beliefs in a monocultural sample of American participants. Results showed that when participants were made to believe that upward mobility in society was low (but not when high), information about a person’s familial class background was the basis of status-related judgements. Our findings speak to the importance that sociocultural contexts play for the understanding of different aspects of social class.
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© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- organizational behaviour
- social class
- social mobility
- socioecological approach