This essay would discuss how human beings ascribed status and achieved status change and play roles in different stratification based on Barbara Miller’s book “Cultural Anthropology”. It starts with the introduction of the basic definitions of ascribed status and achieved…
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Wolf (1996) describes this position, or standing in society as “status” (Miller, p. 273), which according to Miller, could be categorized into two big kind: ascribed status, which is “based on qualities that an individual acquired through birth”; and achieved status, which is “based on qualities of a person gained through action” (Miller, p.272). Specifically speaking, ascribed status represents more personal status, like “race, ethnicity, gender, age or physical ability” (Miller, p.273), which are all characteristics people are born to be; achieved status, however, has to be gain by certain efforts in a group of society. It seems to be simple if the analysis and comparison are only based on the basic definition, but the fact is, the status might be changed under certain circumstances. For example, the physical ability could be gained by exercising to receive better properties than before. In this way, it is important to discuss these two statuses among specific stratification.
In the social stratification realm, hierarchical relationships are arranged in strata where the stratified groups may have disparities in the manner in which they are treated in the society. Their difference is classified in terms of power, material resources, education, human welfare, and other symbolic attributes. Those in the higher strata enjoy privileges that are not enjoyed by those in the lower strata. People in one social class view others of another social class as different and with a certain level of fortunes. In some class systems, an individual may be challenged to work hard to go up the stratification system while in others; regardless of how hard one works, they cannot proceed to the uppermost social class.
The analysis of the social strata such as race, class, age, and gender within the specific stratification system depicts a crucial difference based on the manner in
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