A status symbol is a perceived visible, external denotation of one's social position and perceived indicator of economic or social status. Many luxury goods are often considered status symbols. Status symbol is also a sociological term – as part of social and sociological symbolic interactionism – relating to how individuals and groups interact and interpret various cultural symbols.
Status symbols are also used by persons of much more modest means. In the Soviet Union before the fall of the Berlin Wall, possession of American-style blue jeans or Status symbols are also used by persons of much more modest means. In the Soviet Union before the fall of the Berlin Wall, possession of American-style blue jeans or rock music recordings (even pirated or bootlegged copies) was an important status symbol among rebellious teenagers. In the 1990s, foreign cigarettes in China, where a pack of Marlboro could cost one day's salary for some workers, were seen as a status symbol. Mobile phone usage had been considered a status symbol (for example in Turkey in the early 1990s), but is less distinctive today, because of the spread of inexpensive mobile phones. Nonetheless Apple products such as iPod or iPhone are common status symbols among modern teenagers.
A common type of modern status symbol is a prestigious luxury branded item, whether apparel or other type of a good. The brand name or logo is often prominently displayed, or featured as a graphic design element of decoration. Certain brands are so highly valued that cheap counterfeit goods or knock-off copies are purchased and displayed by those who do not want to, or are unable to, pay for the genuine item.