Sociology Index


Achieved Status or Status Achieved, is a position in a social structure that has been attained by the individual as a result of their individual abilities, work and personal involvements. Achieved status is a concept developed by the anthropologist Ralph Linton. Social mobility is much more frequent in countries that believe in achieved status. Where social status is an achievement, it is known as achieved status. It is commonly perceived that ascribed statuses are irreversible while achieved statuses are reversible. Achieved status is the term used to denote a social position a person acquires on merit. We can come accross many examples of achieved status among top athletes or Nobel Laureates. Sociologists use both the concepts of class and social status to describe the systems of social stratification.

The Master Status, whether ascribed status or achieved status, overshadows all other social positions of status. Achieved status denotes a social position that a person can acquire on the basis of merit. Achieved status is a position that is earned or chosen. Ascribed Status is a status that is automatically transmitted to an individual at birth or at a particular time in the life cycle. Cecilia L. Ridgeway demonstrates how the conferral of status inevitably contributes to differing life outcomes for individuals, with impacts on pay, wealth creation, and health and wellbeing.

In an open class ideology system, people are ranked by achieved status, whereas in a closed class society, people are ranked by ascribed status. In modern western Europe, status depends on individual educational and professional attainment, meaning that people are ranked based on achieved status. In an open class ideology system, the hierarchical social status of a person is achieved through their effort. Achieved status is a position gained based on merit or achievement, as used in an open class ideology system. While occupational statuses are generally achieved, often in a competitive process, one can also achieve more personal statuses, for example, married is an achieved status.

Researchers have found that having leaders or fellow employees in the group with a higher status, or higher achieved status, may lead to a lowered group performance on tasks, and this may lead to a reduction in productivity. Social status is a position in a social structure regulated by norms and usually ranked according to power and prestige. Social status differs from social class in that it is a measure of a person's social standing or social honour in a community. Individuals who share the same social class may have very divergent status. People's status is affected by ethnic origin, gender and age as well as their level of recognition in the community. While status is statistically related to class it is common for individuals to have inconsistent class and status locations.

Ascribed Status and Achieved Status
Eleanor Gil-Kashiwabara. Edited by: Janet M. Bennett. In each society and/or cultural group, people are viewed as having an ascribed status or an achieved status. In the purest form, ascribed status is a status that an individual is born with and can’t control, such as race. Achieved status is an earned status that usually reflects an individual’s effort. It is a status that is acquired, such as becoming a doctor or an elected official. This entry provides examples of how achieved status and ascribed statuses might influence each other and vary by circumstance, including the complexities related to navigating these social positions.

The Camouflage Effect: Separating Achieved Status and Unearned Privilege in Organizations - Ashleigh Shelby Rosette, Leigh Thompson. Abstract: In many organizational settings, status hierarchies result in the conferral of privileges that are based on achievement. However, in the same settings, status may result in the bestowal of privileges that are unearned. We argue that these unearned privileges are often awarded based on ascribed status characteristics, but are perceived to be achieved status. We further argue that these misattributions occur because acknowledging that one has benefited from unearned advantages that are awarded in a meritocracy can be threatening to a person's self-identity. We propose that by studying unearned privileges in organizational settings, a more accurate assessment of status hierarchies may result.

Effects of Achieved Status of Leader on Productivity of Groups
Doyle, Wayne J. Administrative Science Quarterly, 16, 1, 40-50, Mar 71. This study examined the relationship between the achieved status of the leader and productivity in group problem solving. The report studies the effects that the achieved status of the principal has on the productivity of a heierarchically differenitiated group when all of the group members have an equal share in making decisions.
Abstract: This study examined the relationship between the achieved status of the leader and productivity in group problem solving of 27 experimental groups, which consisted of the principal and three teachers, with nine of the principals having high achieved status, nine moderate achieved status, and nine low achieved status. The task consisted of both analysis and synthesis. Groups having principals with high achieved status were the least productive in the analyzing phase. The achieved status of the principal and group productivity were found to be directly related in the synthesizing phase. The results indicate that high achieved status in a leader has dysfunctional, as well as functional consequences.

A Clarification of “Ascribed Status’and “Achieved Status”
Irving S. Foladare, The Sociological QuarterlyVolume 10, Issue 1.