Subordination means lowering. In animal packs, gestures of subordination include staying low and making gestures of play. In the military, one shows subordination by saluting first.
You are more likely to be familiar with the opposite of subordination, insubordination. In the military, acts of insubordination means refusing to follow your superior and is a punishable crime. The 1920s finalized the subordination of investigations into ESP and the like. They were discredited and stopped being investigated by mainstream scientists.