I think people are a little confused by the social instinct, especially how it manifests in introverts. I have to admit I was pretty oblivious about how much it affects me. But then I began to look at myself objectively. I am always studying social interactions, social structures, ranging from a concert audience to this forum. I'm always asking, where do I fit into this, how do I not fit into this, how could this be improved. I am a vegetarian, try to buy organic, local food, thrift shop, etc, more due to how my actions affect others than how it affects me. I see the things that others of my education and experience have accomplished and it hurts me. My least favorite question is, "what do you do?" Because I can't provide an answer that would please me- published author, in a band, professor, concert venue owner, bookstore owner, art therapist at a prison, etc. I cannot make a decision without considering how it affects others, from my kids to the universe.
I guess what I'm saying is, reading about status and prestige didn't click as something that matter to me until I really thought about it.