Status Quo – What is it, definition and concept

Status quo is a Latin expression that expresses the exact moment in which a certain aspect of society, politics or the economy is.

This expression is normally used in social sciences to describe a certain situation. It is important to note that not only is this situation important, but so is time, that is, status quo refers to a very delimited time, either past or present.

Origin of status quo

The origin of this expression is found in Latin, as it cannot be otherwise. In addition, it comes from another more extensive locution: status quo ante bellumwhose literal meaning is “the state of things before the war”.

This expression was used in international relations to refer to the previous panorama that prevailed before a warlike development. That is to say, when a country enunciated said locution, what it was referring to is the return of territories and the demilitarization of the areas where they had previously carried out the invasion.

Status quo in social sciences

Status quo, as we mentioned at the beginning, is used in social sciences to describe the state of something related to society at a given time. Let’s see some examples:

  • When a person says that he is against the status quo, he is really against the political and social system in general. The will of this person is to carry out or support a revolution from which a new regime would emerge. Revolutions typically brought socialist and communist regimes, creating a deep gap between the old order and the new.
  • On the contrary, when someone says that it is necessary to return to the status quo prior to the one experienced at a certain moment, this person wants to return to the political and social order that prevailed in the previous regime. This is often the motivation for numerous coups and conservative military regimes, whose worldview is based on traditional and religious values ​​that have prevailed for centuries.
  • We must also talk about those who prefer the maintenance of the status quo. They are people who identify with the political, social and cultural regime that prevails at that time. These people depend on the scheme in question. Normally we would talk about the aristocracy and the middle and upper classes of society. On the other hand, in socialist and communist regimes, these people will be the elite of the party and the army. In addition, we can include other intermediate positions with a certain political and economic power. In general, they would be the militants of the party who, thanks to supporting it, enjoy advantages somewhat superior to the rest.
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