Ascribed status a social position assigned to a person by society without

Ascribed status a social position assigned to a

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Ascribed status: a social position assigned to a person by society without regard for the person’s unique talents or characteristics. Usually assigned at birth Age Sex Race/ethnicity Social class of your family of origin Nationality … BUT any status can be ascribed if enough people with power assign it significance & impose it upon others. Elements of Social Structure: Statuses & Roles
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Elements of Social Structure: Statuses & Roles (Status cont’d) Because statuses are socially constructed, they are subject to change/morph & become fuzzier as definitions & expectations change As we see with our socially accepted definitions of sex, gender, & sexuality Changing definitions of marriage: 1996: only 27 % of U.S. adults supported same-sex marriage 2016: 83% of people 18-29 years old; 53% of people 65+
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Elements of Social Structure: Statuses & Roles Some statuses have more significance in defining who we are. These are called master statuses Master status: a status that dominates others & thereby determines a person’s general position in society Serves as the primary lens through which people will view other characteristics someone might have Common master statuses: Race Sex Class
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Elements of Social Structure: Statuses & Roles (Master status cont’d) Master statuses also have consequences for opportunities Malcolm X example Concluded that his master status as a black man is an obstacle to his dreams of achieving the status as a lawyer Taken-for-granted conceptions of master status shape perceptions of what is possible  can lead to systematic denial of opportunities
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Elements of Social Structure: Statuses & Roles Every status we occupy comes with a set of actions expected of anyone who occupies that status. These are called social roles Social role: a set of expected behaviors for people who occupy a given status REMEMBER: A status is something you are & a role is something you do You occupy a status & you play a role When we know what’s expected of us, roles can feel natural, effortless When we are in a new role, unfamiliar roles can feel awkward, fake, you can feel like a fraud
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Elements of Social Structure: Statuses & Roles (Roles cont’d) Role Strain: when role expectations within the same social status clash College student Role Conflict: when incompatible expectations arise from two or more social statuses held by the same person Working Mom REMEMBER: role strain addresses tension within a single status, while role conflict is related to tension between statuses
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Elements of Social Structure: Statuses & Roles (Roles cont’d) Role Exit : the process of disengagement from a role that is central to one’s self-identity in an effort to establish a new role & identity Ebaugh’s 4 Stages of Role Exit 1.
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