Methodological origins of the Warner status index


With the purpose of further use and validation of the Warner status index for measuring the social status of a person in an empirical sociological study, the methodological foundations of this four-factor index are analyzed. Turning to the original study of W. Warner, his conclusions are given regarding the stratification of society with the consideration of the class scheme proposed by W. Warner. An original technique for determining the position of an individual in society is shown – Evaluated Participation with a step-by-step description of its conduct. It is noted that the use of Evaluated Participation is not rational in a large-scale sociological study, so over time it was transformed into Warner status index.

The article examines in detail the structure of the Warner status index, the calculation of each indicator, its components, the correspondence of the scoring, the weight of the indicators, the formula for calculating the Warner’s status index and the classification system, according to the scores received. The conclusions of the validation procedure for the index of status characteristics, carried out by A. Duncan and G. Fouts, are considered separately. In particular, the correlation coefficients between the elements of the original technique (the membership score) and the Warner status index, which indicated the possibility of simplifying the Warner status index, were found. The indicators were eliminated until an optimal ratio between simplicity and prognostic strength was achieved. Because of the problem of local orientation of the two factors of the Warner status index (the area of residence, the state of the premises), A. Duncan and G. Fouts proposed to use the cost of rent instead. After all, the basic principles of the cost of rent and rental equivalents are stable and reliable indices for the characteristics of the quality of the area. In support of this thesis, the level of correlation between the index using the level of rent and the index of the status characteristic of W. Warner is given.

The problems of using the Warner status index in the modern study of social stratification was analyzed. It was concluded that Warner status index should undergo the procedure of modernization and validation.

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