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Assignment and Discussion Forum in Sociology Week 5 - Essay Example

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The status of a person is generally understood as “a socially defined position in a group or society characterized by certain…
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Assignment Essay and Discussion Forum in Sociology Week 5
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Download file to see previous pages ed status and achieved status and very often the ascribed status of an individual is “conferred at birth or received involuntarily later in life, based on attributes over which the individuals have little or no control, such as race, ethnicity, age and gender” (Kendall, p. 105). However, it is possible for an individual to acquire achieved statuses in one’s life with hard work, personal competence, personal choice and successful competition. There is a close link between ascribed statuses and achieved ones; therefore, it should also be kept in mind that factors such as race, ethnicity and gender are most likely to diminish one’s opportunity to reach higher realms of achieved statuses. It can therefore be concluded that people who are privileged by their positive ascribed status are more likely to develop positive achieved status whereas those who are disadvantaged by ascribed status tend to acquire negative achieved status (Kendall, p. 105).
For a person who occupies different statuses, it is his master status that dominates over all others and determines his social position. According to Hughes (1945), a person’s master status “is the most important status a person occupies; it dominates all of the individual’s other statuses and is the overriding ingredient in determining a person’s general social position” (Kendall, p. 105). Factors such as a person’s race, ethnicity and religious identity can very often constitute the master statuses for individuals. In any society or community where racial discrimination, ethnic bias and religious prejudices prevails, the dominant group members tend to “single out members of other groups as “inferior” on the basis of real or alleged physical, cultural or nationality characteristics” (Kendall, p. 106). The social identities of ethnic minorities are most likely to be perceived based on their ethnicity or race. Factors such as a person’s race, ethnicity and religious identity constitute as the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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