Presentations

Poster: Trickle-Round Signals: When Low Status Is Mixed with High

Silvia Bellezza, Columbia University

Poster Session Presentation

While trickle-down theories suggest that fashion starts with the elites and moves downward, some high-end restaurants serve lowbrow food like potato chips or macaroni and cheese, and some fashion trends are poached from blue-collar workers before they become popular. When and why do high-status individuals adopt items associated with traditionally low-status groups? We use a signaling perspective to explain this phenomenon, demonstrating that highs adopt some items associated with low-status groups to distinguish themselves from middle-status individuals. Emulating low-status groups is risky and costly for middles, and, as a result, adopting such items grants distinction to the elites. Further, the presence of multiple signaling dimensions facilitates this effect, allowing highs to mix-and-match items in a way that differentiates them from lows. These findings deepen our understanding of signaling dynamics, support a trickle-round theory of fashion, and shed light on alternative status symbols.

Related Conference

Spring 2019 Trustees Meeting: Right Channel, Right Content, Right Time

To access presentation materials, you must login or register for full access.

3 WAYS to GET CONNECTED

Business

Employees of MSI Member Companies enjoy the benefits of complete online access to content, member conferences and networking with the MSI community.

More

Academic

Qualified academics benefit from a relationship with MSI through access to msi.org, conferences and research opportunities.

More

Public

The public is invited to enjoy partial access to msi.org content, a free e-newsletter, selected reports and more.

More

Join the MSI mailing list

Stay informed of the latest research and events