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Socio 101 - Ch5 - Ch 5 Socialization over the Life Course...

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Ch. 5      Socialization over the Life Course     Social Structure and Status Social structure  – patterned, recurring social relationships o the mental maps of social structure are not part of our genetic heritage; they must be  learned from others; in this process we learn statuses and roles status  – a position a person occupies within a social structure; helps us define who  and what we are in relation to others within the same social structure (Ex. parts in a  play) Ascribed status  – a status within a social structure that is not earned or  chosen, but assigned (Ex. At birth, an infant is either male or female) Achieved status  – a status within a social structure that is earned or chosen  because people have some degree of control and choice (Ex. spouse/parent) o Status set  – all the statuses that an individual occupies at any  particular time (Ex. basketball coach – mother – author – professor) o Master statuses  – statuses that affect most other aspects of a person’s  life; may be achieved or ascribed (Ex. occupation – gender – race –  ethnicity) Roles  – culturally defined rights and obligations attached to social statuses indicating  the behavior expected of individuals holding them (Ex. Script (lines) in a play; a  mother is expected to take care of her children) Any status carries a variety of roles with it; a doctor must keep abreast of new  medical developments, schedule office appointments, diagnose illnesses, and  prescribe treatments The roles of one status are matched with the roles of other statuses through: o Rights  – roles informing individuals of the behavior that can be  expected from others o Obligations
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