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A few thoughts…

  1. I take status to be an index of social efficacy.

  2. Humans are social creatures and identify with social groups. If this is the source of status then it could be attained by dominating the group but it could also be attained by benefiting the group.

  3. Because status is a group dynamic it is also relevant between groups. You could take this to mean that groups accord varying measures of status to other groups but also that high status in one group does not automatically translate into other groups. In this regards status is the esteem of a group for an individual. However, I would not limit a definition of status to that because it could also be the efficacy of an individual to control the group.

  4. I am not sure I would regard self-esteem as a measure of status but it probably is or is among the prime motives for status achievement.

  5. In regards to attaining status by lowering another’s self-esteem... If influence is the reason for doing so then there are probable cognitive heuristics that support and detract from such a tactic depending on particulars. Denigrating another individual can give the appearance of authority. The benefits are that you demoralize a competitor while making them an example of your authority to the group. That said, it seems there are heuristics that promote cooperative behaviors—e.g. likability and reciprocity. Therefore you can also achieve higher status by elevating the esteem of other people—and I would suggest that in most cases this is more durable.