Mr. Landon Hill
October 9, 2011
Compare and Contrast
Ascribed, Achieved and Master.
Ascribed statuses are those which are fixed for an individual at birth or that are assumed involuntarily later on in life. They are neither earned nor chosen. Ascribed statuses that exist in all societies include those based on sex, age, race, ethnic group, and family background. In some societies such as traditional India, occupation and choice of marriage partner are predetermined, thus making it an ascribed status.
In contrast, an achieved status is a social position a person takes on voluntarily that reflects knowledge, skills and or merit. An individual's occupation tends to fall under the category of an achieved status; for example, a teacher or a firefighter. Although occupation can be either ascribed or achieved it is usually achieved depending upon the society one lives in. Similar to both achieved and ascribed master status is a combination of the two. The Master status is the one that will dominate all other statuses one inhabits. Generally speaking the master status is the one the people see first in an individual. For an example the first thing one will recognize about President Barack Obama is not the he is the President of the United States of America but that he is African American. Another example of Master status is when a person is found to be “Mental illness” they will often be labeled as “Mentally ill” without any recognition of the others parts of their lives that make them an individual.
I believe Master, Ascribed, and Achieved statuses all have there advantages and disadvantages. Since ascribed statuses are what you are given at birth it can be hindrance or an aid for you, depending upon what it is that you are given and the society that you live in. An achieved status has the ability to be an obstruction in ones life. If being a prostitute is a status that one achieves, it would be a disadvantage for...
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