Low Status Rejection: How Status Hierarchies Influence Negative Tie Formation


Authors: Brian Rubineau, Yisook Lim and Michael Neblo

Publication: Social Networks, Vol. 56, January 2019


Scholarship investigating how social status patterns negative ties has yielded contradictory findings. Three likely sources for these differences are: different measures of social status, measures of negative ties (perceived versus dyadic), and structural factors. This study uses multiple measures of social status, sociometrically-measured negative ties, and multiple analytic approaches – MRQAP to control for structure and within-individual to control for heterogeneity – to help resolve this debate. We find: negative ties travel down status hierarchies and target low status individuals, and a negative tie between two people becomes more likely as their status difference increases. These results suggest a low-status rejection mechanism.