Definition of social ladder in English:

social ladder

(also social scale)

noun

usually the social ladder
  • The hierarchical structure of society or of a society.

    ‘it would be a step up the social ladder for him when the marriage came off’
    • ‘Often migrants are prepared to take a step down the social ladder.’
    • ‘He recognised that throwing together a group of lads from opposite ends of the social scale, to live and work together on an island less than two miles long and half that in width, was always going to be a gamble.’
    • ‘He said that among homeless people there is a social scale.’
    • ‘The growth of residential domestic service, even low down the social scale, and the prevalence of lodgers, especially in towns, meant that many households were further swollen in size and complex in formation.’
    • ‘For his family, his ambitions as a someone not working in the fields represented a significant step up the social scale.’
    • ‘The point is, that by being groups of such limited number, they are more able to use social networks of shared identity to move up the social ladder.’
    • ‘The poverty of such dwellings was a sign as to where these people were on the social scale and their standing in the feudal system.’
    • ‘In general, one goes down the social ladder through exile, or at best one remains in the same class.’
    • ‘What we are actually about is demonstrating our politics will help people at the bottom of the social scale.’
    • ‘O'Rourke responds that the people in his film are articulate and aware of their ranking on the social scale and their views are entitled to be heard.’
    • ‘The teaching is, of course, ironic, for children occupied the lowest rung in the social ladder, and caring for children was a low status activity.’
    • ‘Visitors will have the chance to eavesdrop on preparations for two weddings involving women at opposite ends of the social scale.’
    • ‘At the upper end of the social scale the rituals through which disputes over reputation were conducted could be no less elaborate.’
    • ‘The statistics so thankfully absent from the book show that, as a general rule, where we are born on the social scale is far and away the most important predictor of where we will die.’
    • ‘It's well-known that the staff of such hotels become much grander than the guests and will look down their noses at people who are actually far higher up the social scale than a waiter.’
    • ‘It also shows that pupils from the lower end of the social scale are beginning to close the educational gap on middle-class pupils.’
    • ‘There, he worked his way rapidly up the social ladder in the mercantile trades, finally settling at the top at the age of thirty-nine.’
    • ‘Directed by Peter Reid, the performance begins in a deliberately hesitant fashion with the cleaning lady but gains in confidence and momentum as the characters ascend the social scale.’
    • ‘This system enabled the bourgeoisie to move up the social ladder; but the old nobility weren't always keen to let the new nobility in.’
    • ‘This is the problem of ‘downwards envy’, where the middle group in society is looking down the social ladder at those who are supposedly receiving privileged treatment.’
    pecking order, ranking, grading, ladder, social order, social stratum, social scale, class system
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