Posts Tagged ‘Status’

Every time I go to a conference I experience the academic equivalent of somebody checking me out.  That is, their eyes make contact with mine and then drift down to my nametag, before returning to my face.  I’m sure that this behavior is sometimes indicative of the sort of status game that many ascribe to it.  Most of the time, however, I think that those who have been “tag checked” project their own feelings onto the interaction (similar to my belief about candidates at the employment service).  The thing is, I tag check people all the time and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have anything to do with a desire for status.  When I am at a conference I’m constantly trying to connect names with faces and remember if the familiar face I see is somebody I’ve met or merely looks like somebody I’ve met.  Given my new institutional affiliation (to which the most common reaction at ASA was, “I’ve never heard of that”), I doubt that anybody will suspect me of playing the status game.  In the future I’ll likely have to remind myself that the fact that somebody is affiliated with a school I’ve heard of does not mean they don’t want to talk to me because I’m from a school that they haven’t heard of.

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