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Social status


Social status is the position or rank of a person or group, within the society.

Status can be determined in two ways. One can earn their social status by their own achievements, which is known as achieved status. Alternatively, one can be placed in the stratification system by their inherited position, which is called ascribed status.

An embodied status is one that is generated by physical characteristics located within our physical selves (such as beauty, physical disability, stature, build).

The status that is the most important for an individual at a given time is called master status.

Ascribed statuses can also be defined as those that are fixed for an individual at birth. Ascribed statuses that exist in all societies include those based upon sex, race, ethnic group and family background. For example, a person born into a wealthy family characterized by traits such as popularity, talents and high values will have many expectations growing up. Therefore, they are given and taught many social roles as they are socially positioned into a family becoming equipped with all these traits and characteristics.

Achieved status means also what the individual acquires during his or her lifetime as a result of the exercise of knowledge, ability, skill and/or perseverance. Occupation provides an example of status that may be either ascribed or achieved; it can be achieved by one gaining the right knowledge and skill to become socially positioned into a higher position of that job, building a person's social identity within the occupation. Social status is used in many parts of the world.

Hierarchy can be conveyed and detected through voice.

Status refers to the relative rank that an individual holds; this includes attendant rights, duties, and lifestyle, in a social hierarchy based upon honor or . Status has two different types that come along with it: achieved, and ascribed. The word status refers to social stratification on a vertical scale.

In society, pariah status groups are regarded with disdain or treated as outcasts by the majority of the population. The term derives from the Paraiyar (Pariah caste), members of which are treated as outcasts in Hindu society.

In modern societies, occupation is usually thought of as the main determinant of status, but other memberships or affiliations (such as ethnic group, religion, gender, voluntary associations, fandom, hobby) can have an influence.Achieved status is when people are placed in the stratification structure based on their individual merits or achievements. This status can be achieved through education, occupation, and marital status. Their place within the stratification structure is determined by society's bar, which often judges them on success, success being financial, academic, political and so on. America most commonly uses this form of status with jobs. The higher you are in rank the better off you are and the more control you have over your co-workers.



  • Wealth/Income (most common): Ties between persons with the same personal income
  • Gender: Ties between persons of the same sex and sexuality
  • Political status: Ties between persons of the same political views/status
  • Religion: Ties between persons of the same religion
  • Race/Ethnicity: Ties between persons of the same ethnic/racial group
  • Social class: Ties between persons born into the same economic group
  • Coolness: Ties between persons who have similar levels of popularity
  • Property refers to one's material possessions and their life chances. If someone has control of property, that person has power over others and can use the property to his or her own benefit.
  • Prestige is also a significant factor in determining one's place in the stratification system. The ownership of property is not always going to assure power, but there are frequently people with prestige and little property.
  • Power is the ability to do what one wants, regardless of the will of others. (Domination, a closely related concept, is the power to make others' behavior conform to one's commands). This refers to two different types of power, which are possession of power and exercising power. For example, some people in charge of the government have an immense amount of power, and yet they do not make much money.
  • Class Power: This refers to unequal access to resources. If you have access to something that someone else needs, that can make you more powerful than the person in need. The person with the resource thus has bargaining power over the other.
  • Social Status (Social Power): If you view someone as a social superior, that person will have power over you because you believe that person has a higher status than you do.
  • Political Power: Political power can influence the hierarchical system of power because those that can influence what laws are passed and how they are applied can exercise power over others.
  • Michael Marmot (2004), The Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects Our Health and Longevity, Times Books
  • Botton, Alain De (2004), Status Anxiety, Hamish Hamilton
  • Social status. (2007). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved October 17, 2007, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online:
  • Stark, Rodney (2007). Sociology (10th ed.). Thomson Wadsworth. ISBN . 
  • Gould, Roger (2002). "The Origins of Status Hierarchy: A Formal Theory and Empirical Test". American Journal of Sociology. 107 (5): 1143–78. doi:10.1086/341744. 
  • McPherson, Miller; Smith-Lovin, Lynn; Cook, James M (2001). "Birds of a Feather: Homophily in Social Networks". American Journal of Sociology. 27: 415–44. doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.27.1.415. 
  • Bolender, Ronald Keith (2006). "Max Weber 1864–1920". LLC: Bolender Initiatives. 
  • Chernoff, Seth David (2015). "What is Success". 
  • Bourdieu, Pierre. Distinction: a Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, translated by Richard Nice. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984.
  • Weber, Max (2015) "Classes, Stände, Parties," pp. 37–58 in Weber's Rationalism and Modern Society: New Translations on Politics, Bureaucracy, and Social Stratification Edited and Translated by Tony Waters and Dagmar Waters. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
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Wikipedia

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