In recent years there has been much research regarding the extent to which social status is related to long-term indices of health. The majority of studies looking at the interplay between social status and health have been conducted in industrialized societies. However, it has been argued that most of human evolution took place in small, mobile and egalitarian hunter-gatherer groups where individuals exhibited very little variation in terms of material wealth or possessions. In this study, we looked at the extent to which two domains of social status, hunting reputation (being perceived as a good hunter) and popularity (being perceived as a friend), are related to physiological stress levels among Hadza men, hunter-gatherers living in Northern Tanzania. The results of our study show that neither hunting reputation nor popularity is associated with stress levels. Overall, our data suggest that, in at least some traditional small-scale societies exhibiting an egalitarian social model, such as the Hadza, the variation in social status measures based on both popularity and hunting reputation does not translate into one of the commonly used indices of wellbeing.
- Social Status