The French writer Arnold van Gennep first called attention to the phenomena of status passages in his Rites of Passage one hundred years ago. In Status Passage, first published in 1971, the movement of individuals and groups in contemporary society from one status to another is examined in the light of Gennep's original theory. Glaser and Strauss demonstrate that society emerges as a comparative order. In this order, every organized action, collective or individual, can be seen as a form of status passage.
From one status to another-from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, from being single to being married, movement from one income group, social class or religion to another-there are passages that entail movement into different parts of a social structure and loss or gain in privileges. Types of status passage are described by their proper ties. The authors present a formal theory of status passage in the form of a running theoretical discussion.
The concepts and categories discussed in Status Passage are illuminated by a large number of examples chosen from a wide range of human behavior, and the applicability of the theory to still other examples is made apparent. The result is a stimulating and provocative book that will interest a wide range of sociologists, social psychologists, and other social scientists, and will be useful in a variety of courses.