Sociology Index


Status ascribed or ascribed status is a status that is automatically transmitted to an individual at birth or at a particular time in the life cycle. An individual is accorded this status through inheritance or as a result of such characteristics as sex, ethnicity or physical features. Social status is the social prestige attached to one’s position in society. It is the position that one holds in a group. Social status can also be ascribed at birth. This inherited position is known as status ascribed or ascribed status predetermined for an individual at birth. Status is a position in a social structure regulated by norms and usually ranked according to power and prestige. Status differs from 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. 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 the status.

For example, 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. Most sociologists use both the concepts of class and status to describe the systems of social stratification (the way individuals are ranked in various hierarchies of income, wealth, authority and power) found in societies.


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. 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.