Sentiments as Status Processes? A Theoretical Reformulation from the Expectation States Tradition

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© American Sociological Association 2020. Do the ties that bind also create social inequality? Using an expectation states theoretical framework, we elaborate status characteristics and behavior-status theories to explore how sentiments, network connections based on liking and disliking, may affect processes entailing status, the prestige based on one’s differentially valued social distinctions. Within task groups, we theorize that positive and negative sentiments may themselves be status elements capable of evoking performance expectations within dyadic configurations typically modeled by expectation states theorists. Having a reputation for being liked or disliked “imported” into the group may enact status generalization. Alternatively, a status element based on sentiments may emerge during task group interaction as group members ascertain if alters are liked or disliked. Finally, we conclude by discussing how our theorizing motivates future theories and empirical studies.