What’s Your Rank? (Synopsis Only)

BirdsonGridThere is substantial credible evidence that we human beings are “adapted” to living in groups (tribes?) of small groups of people (100 to 150), and that “status issues” or “ranking issues” are always present in such cohesive groups.

This project (website/books/videos/podcasts) would require some chutzpah and careful interviewing and research.

First of all there is the research on status and ranking in all other primates (not to mention many other mammalian and many avian species), as well as in anthropological research of “pre-modern” tribal cultures.

Secondly, there is credible child development research which indicates that the average “modern” 3 year old is already very aware of status and ranking within groups of children, and the more “high ranking” children have more playmates.

Most academic writing on this issue, however, seems to squirm away from any conclusion that “ranking,” “social status” or “social hierarchies” have a biological or “natural” basis.  Status, ranking issues are decidedly not a politically correct “idea” especially in the “all men are created equal” U.S.A.

The idea for this book is to explore the evidence for the universality of ranking and status issues in human societies, including some preliminary questions as:

Are “ranking issues” present in everyday life in modern urban and suburban cultures?
Are people who are more “socially adept” in understanding, accepting, and navigating “ranking issues,” happier and more fulfilled?
What is the evidence for us human beings to be generally “wired” to be constantly evaluating one’s relative ranking in relation to everyone else?
Is it possible that teasing, making fun of, criticizing others are all aspects of “rank jockeying” behaviors that are somewhat “socially acceptable” in modern life?
Is it possible that some of the common “psychological disorders” (such as depression and low self-esteem) may be related to “ranking issues”?
Could one have a relatively “low ranking” in a group and yet have healthy self esteem, good self image, if one accepted his/her “ranking” without judging it as “wrong” or “bad”?

If there is strong evidence for “status issues” and “ranking issues” being part of our “human nature,” how can that reality be integrated into our modern egalitarian culture?

This title is definitely related to our title: BELONGING .   .   .   .   . & PSEUDO-BELONGING, and to the next two titles: NO MAN (OR WOMAN) (OR CHILD) IS AN ISLAND and YOU ARE  PART OF THE GROUP.  Perhaps these three titles could be part of a trilogy entitled: WE NEED EACH OTHER or CAN’T WE JUST GET ALONG?   [Series book ideas: WHAT’S YOUR RANK AT WORK?;  HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR RANK (and your chances of getting into the college of YOUR choice) for high school students; HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR RANK IN YOUR COMMUNITY (and your Happiness) or IMPROVE YOUR RANK, IMPROVE YOUR HAPPINESS]