Social Rank Theory

Posted on April 14, 2020

I’ve been working on a new painting since December and I’m almost done the underpainting. It’s about Rank Theory, which is the psychological theory that when people come together they subconsciously rank each other (and themselves) so that there may be social cohesion within the group. After all, society wouldn’t function if we were all jostling for power in every social interaction. This has negative consequences as well; those in low rank positions internalize the structure and this leads to anxiety and depression.

The painting I am working on will have bar graph bloop over each person’s head to make the ranking obvious. I hope that viewers will consider rank in social situations and have more compassion for those who have internalized and exhibit low rank stature.

Leave a Reply