Status quo

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Status quo is a Latin phrase meaning the existing state of affairs, particularly with regard to social or political issues. [1] In the sociological sense, it generally applies to maintain or change existing social structure and values. [2] With regard to policy debate, the status quo refers to how conditions are at the time and how the affirmative team can solve these conditions for example "The countries are now trying to maintain a status quo with regards to their nuclear arsenal which will help them if the situation gets any worse." [3]

The state of affairs is the combination of circumstances applying within a society or group at a particular time. The current state of affairs may be considered acceptable by many observers, but not necessarily by all. The state of affairs may present a challenge, or be complicated, or contain a conflict of interest. The status quo represents the existing state of affairs. Unresolved difficulties or disagreements concerning the state of affairs can provoke a crisis. Dispute resolution is naturally desired, and naturally provided, by forms of inclusive social interaction, such as consensus decision-making, which adapt, but not conveniently, from a family or tribal model to encompass a global scope. Current knowledge and discussion about the state of affairs is communicated through the media.

Sociology Scientific study of human society and its origins, development, organizations, and institutions

Sociology is a study of society, patterns of social relationships, social interaction and culture of everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about social order, acceptance, and change or social evolution. Sociology is also defined as the general science of society. While some sociologists conduct research that may be applied directly to social policy and welfare, others focus primarily on refining the theoretical understanding of social processes. Subject matter ranges from the micro-sociology level of individual agency and interaction to the macro level of systems and the social structure.


It is the nominative form of the prepositional Latin phrase "in statu quo" – literally "in the state in which", which itself is a shortening of the original phrase in statu quo res erant ante bellum , meaning "in the state in which things were before the war". To maintain the status quo is to keep the things the way they presently are. The related phrase status quo ante , literally "the state in which before", [4] means "the state of affairs that existed previously". [4]

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.

The term status quo ante bellum is a Latin phrase meaning "the state existing before the war".

Political usage

Social movements are an example of times when the status quo might be challenged. In these instances status quo refers to the current state of affairs around a particular issue, or perhaps the current culture or social climate of an entire society or nation. [5] The status quo is generally perceived negatively by supporters of the social movement, and people who want to maintain the status quo can be seen as being resistant to progress. [6]

Social movement type of group action

A social movement is a type of group action. There is no single consensus definition of a social movement. They are large, sometimes informal, groupings of individuals or organizations which focus on specific political or social issues. In other words, they carry out, resist, or undo a social change. They provide a way of social change from the bottom within nations.

Society Group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction

A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same geographical or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Societies are characterized by patterns of relationships between individuals who share a distinctive culture and institutions; a given society may be described as the sum total of such relationships among its constituent of members. In the social sciences, a larger society often exhibits stratification or dominance patterns in subgroups.

A nation is a stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, history, ethnicity, or psychological make-up manifested in a common culture.

Politicians sometimes refer to a status quo. Often there is a policy of deliberate ambiguity, referring to the status quo rather than formalizing the status. Clark Kerr is reported to have said: "The status quo is the only solution that cannot be vetoed". [7]

Clark Kerr American academic

Clark Kerr was an American professor of economics and academic administrator. He was the first chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, and twelfth president of the University of California.

Problem solving consists of using generic or ad hoc methods in an orderly manner to find solutions to problems. Some of the problem-solving techniques developed and used in philosophy, artificial intelligence, computer science, engineering, mathematics, or medicine are related to mental problem-solving techniques studied in psychology.

Veto legal power to unilaterally stop an official action, especially the enactment of legislation

A veto is the power to unilaterally stop an official action, especially the enactment of legislation. A veto can be absolute, as for instance in the United Nations Security Council, whose permanent members can block any resolution, or it can be limited, as in the legislative process of the United States, where a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate will override a Presidential veto of legislation. A veto may give power only to stop changes, like the US legislative veto, or to also adopt them, like the legislative veto of the Indian President, which allows him to propose amendments to bills returned to the Parliament for reconsideration.

Karl Marx viewed organized religion as a means for the bourgeoisie to keep the proletariat content with an unequal status quo. [8]

Karl Marx German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist and journalist

Karl Marx was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary.

Bourgeoisie polysemous French term which denotes the wealthy stratum of the middle class that originated during the latter part of the Middle Ages

Bourgeoisie is a polysemous French term that can mean:

Proletariat The class of wage-earners in an economic society whose only possession of significant material value is their labour-power

The proletariat is the class of wage-earners in an economic society whose only possession of significant material value is their labour-power. A member of such a class is a proletarian.

See also

Casus belli is a Latin expression meaning "an act or event that provokes or is used to justify war". A casus belli involves direct offenses or threats against the nation declaring the war, whereas a casus foederis involves offenses or threats against its ally—usually one bound by a mutual defense pact. Either may be considered an act of war.

Status quo bias is an emotional bias; a preference for the current state of affairs. The current baseline is taken as a reference point, and any change from that baseline is perceived as a loss. Status quo bias should be distinguished from a rational preference for the status quo ante, as when the current state of affairs is objectively superior to the available alternatives, or when imperfect information is a significant problem. A large body of evidence, however, shows that status quo bias frequently affects human decision-making.

Status Quo (Jerusalem and Bethlehem) Understanding among religious communities

The Status Quo is an understanding among religious communities with respect to nine shared religious sites in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Other Holy Places in Israel and Palestine were not deemed subject to the Status Quo because the authorities of one religion or of one community within a religion are in recognized or effective possession.

Related Research Articles

Bias is disproportionate weight in favor of or against an idea or thing, usually in a way that is closed-minded, prejudicial, or unfair. Biases can be innate or learned. People may develop biases for or against an individual, a group, or a belief. In science and engineering, a bias is a systematic error. Statistical bias results from an unfair sampling of a population, or from an estimation process that does not give accurate results on average.

Idiom Combination of words that has a figurative meaning

An idiom is a phrase or an expression that has a figurative, or sometimes literal, meaning. Categorized as formulaic language, an idiom's figurative meaning is different from the literal meaning. There are thousands of idioms, occurring frequently in all languages. In the English language alone, it is estimated that there are at least twenty-five thousand idiomatic expressions.

Grain of salt English idiom expressing skepticism

To take something with a "grain of salt" or "pinch of salt" is an English language idiom that means to view something with skepticism or to not to interpret something literally.

Literal and figurative language is a distinction within some fields of language analysis, in particular stylistics, rhetoric, and semantics.

Ad hoc is a Latin phrase meaning literally "to this." In English, it generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and not intended to be able to be adapted to other purposes.

<i>Quid pro quo</i> Latin phrase meaning "something for something"

Quid pro quo is a Latin phrase used in English to mean an exchange of goods or services, in which one transfer is contingent upon the other; "a favour for a favour". Phrases with similar meanings include: "give and take", "tit for tat", and "you scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours" and "one hand washes the other". Other languages use other phrases for the same purpose.

The expression "elephant in the room" or "the elephant in the living room" is a metaphorical idiom in English for an important or enormous topic, problem, or risk that is obvious or that everyone knows about but no one mentions or wants to discuss because it makes at least some of them uncomfortable or is personally, socially, or politically embarrassing, controversial, inflammatory, or dangerous.

In idiomatic English, "the powers that be" is a phrase used to refer to those individuals or groups who collectively hold authority over a particular domain. The word "be" is the archaic alternative form of "are"; the singular equivalent, "the power that is," is less commonly used. "The powers that were" (TPTW) is also another derivation that is used.

Face is a class of behaviors and customs operating (active) in different countries and cultures, associated with the morality, honor, and authority of an individual, and its image in social groups.

"Bread and circuses" is a metonymic phrase critiquing superficial appeasement. It is attributed to Juvenal, a Roman poet active in the late first and early second century AD — and is used commonly in cultural, particularly political, contexts.

Quo can refer to

Urban Dictionary community-powered dictionary of slang terms

Urban Dictionary is a crowdsourced online dictionary for slang words and phrases, operating under the motto "Define Your World." The website was founded in 1999 by Aaron Peckham. Originally, Urban Dictionary was intended as a dictionary of slang, or cultural words or phrases, not typically found in standard dictionaries, but it is now used to define any word, event or phrase. Words or phrases on Urban Dictionary may have multiple definitions, usage examples, and tags. As of 2014, the dictionary had over seven million definitions, while about 2,000 new entries were being added daily. Most definitions, though, are merely jokes or offensive statements instead of the actual definition itself.

In world politics, Jewish state is a characterization of the nation state of Israel as a sovereign homeland of Jewish people.

English-language idioms Wikimedia list article

An idiom is a common word or phrase with a culturally understood meaning that differs from what its composite words' denotations would suggest; i.e. the words together have a meaning that is different from the dictionary definitions of the individual words. By another definition, an idiom is a speech form or an expression of a given language that is peculiar to itself grammatically or cannot be understood from the individual meanings of its elements. For example, an English speaker would understand the phrase "kick the bucket" to mean "to die" – and also to actually kick a bucket. Furthermore, they would understand when each meaning is being used in context.

Alumnus Graduate of a school, college, or university

An alumnus or an alumna of a college, university, or other school is a former student who has either attended or graduated in some fashion from the institution. The word is Latin and simply means student. The plural is alumni[aˈlʊmniː] for men and mixed groups and alumnae[aˈlʊmnae̯] for women. The term is not synonymous with "graduate"; one can be an alumnus without graduating. An alumnus can also be and is more recently expanded to include a former employee of an organization and it may also apply to a former member, contributor, or inmate.

The nascent state is defined as a psychological process of destructuration-reorganization where the individual becomes capable of merging with other persons and creating a new collectivity with a very high degree of solidarity.

Charisma is compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.

Status quo is a Latin phrase, commonly used as "To maintain the status quo is to keep the things the way they presently are".


  1. "Status Quo" - Google Definitions
  2. Dr. C. Michael Botterweck. "Glossary for Sociology 100". Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  3. Status - Online Idioms Dictionary
  4. 1 2 "Status Quo Definition". Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  5. Clark, Pamela (2000). "The Social Climate". The Optimal Environment: Part Four. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
  6. "Status Quo - Dictionary Definition". Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  7. Seymour, Daniel (2015-12-07). Momentum: The Responsibility Paradigm and Virtuous Cycles of Change in Colleges and Universities. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN   9781475821048.
  8. Boundless. "Religion and Social Control." Boundless Sociology. Boundless, 27 Jun. 2014. Retrieved 08 Feb. 2015