Identity and Reality Master Statuses in Global Cultures In cultures where women are not afforded as many opportunities as men, their gender is their master status. In much of the United States, it could be argued that a minority person’s race or ethnicity is a master status. Other master statuses could be celebrity, wealth, or having a physical disfigurement. Regardless of all of the other statuses a person may hold, the status that is immediately apparent to others makes the biggest impression and affects others’ perceptions of that individual. Stigmas Some of the traits we possess are actually stigmas. According to Goffman, a stigma is a trait or characteristic we possess that causes us to lose prestige in the eyes of others. A disfigured face might be a stigma, as someone whose face is severely disfigured is likely to have lost prestige among his or her peers and coworkers. Many would also consider homosexuality to be a stigmatizing characteristic. Because of widespread homophobia, many people would think less
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