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Status symbols - everyone knows them, everyone has them. Yet they are anything but static. A few centuries ago, the pineapple was a status symbol and was displayed in the living rooms of well-heeled families. Today, a certain status may be indicated by owning a penthouse apartment, being a digital native or enjoying the freedom of taking a sabbatical year.
What is considered a status symbol depends on the personal environment, but also on the respective social ‘zeitgeist’. For example, significant changes were triggered by the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Within a very short period of time, "social distancing" and "working from home" were widely implemented concepts that altered the possibilities of displaying status symbols. After all, the company car or the corner office with a view over the city no longer have any visibility when working remotely.
In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, digitalization and climate change are examples of social discourses that influence our status symbols. But what are the status symbols of our time? What is used to signal status in virtual space? And has the company car really had its day?
In their book "Statussymbole im Wandel – Haben was andere nicht haben können” (“Changing Status Symbols - Having What Others Can't Have”) editors Lioba Gierke and Fabiola H. Gerpott set out to track down the new status symbols of our time. To this end, the editors have brought together 16 authors from a wide range of industries and with a broad spectrum of expertise. In 12 chapters, they illuminate the changes in status symbols in both the corporate and private spheres from very different perspectives.
For now, the book will only be available in German. However, please feel free to reach out to learn more about this book project. The book is available here.