Statuses and Cultural Conformity
According to the argument to this point, a number of important inducements to cultural conformity operate differentially based on the status of the individual and that of those judging his behavior. "Sanctioners," and everyone is one, may make quite different judgments of the same act depending on
the statuses of the judged and the status salient for them when they make the judgments.
Even the recondite "judgments" of the arbiters can be understood only in the light of the complex of understandings that form the arbiter status and the mainly undifferentiated status, "community member," assumed by those who take themselves as judged. Here the judgments of the same act are understood as uniform provided only that the judged is a community member.
This judgmental process with its two different sorts of judges provides support for the differentiated conformity called for by the differences among the expectations in different statuses and their roles. It also supports a broad general conformity to a relatively few universal expectations applying to all community members. "Sanctioners" are surely present in every society, and every human is one, but "arbiters" may not be ubiquitous. It is likely that universally applicable standards work in a similar way even if they are not seen as embodied in the judgments of high-prestige individuals.