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Achieved and Ascribed Status in Today’s World

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Achieved and Ascribed Status in Today’s World  essay

When someone hears the word status there could be a number of ideas one can think of (ex. How much someone makes, the family they are from, overall where a person stands in different settings). When it comes to sociology we can see that status can have different forms, two of the more common ones being ascribe and achieved status. Ascribe status being what people might physically see another individual as, whether they know them or not. Whereas, achieve status refers to their hard work and their perseverance to getting to where they are today (Schaefer, 2009, p109). Based on this no matter where you live in the world in today’s society, when a person looks at another individual they will automatically label them or put them into different categories. But, is this the right thing to do? Also, can these statuses change over time for an individual? Ascribe status as stated above is one’s social positions that is given to them when they are born. These being their gender, age, one’s cultural background, and family position. Some people may argue that gender should not be considered in this status, as many individuals in today’s society might classify themselves as another gender or go about a sex change; However, according to Benokraitis (2016) it does not change the fact that you were born a male or female (p. 84). When, it comes to achieve status according to Ferrante-Wallace (2003) is when a person chooses their career path or social status of their own free will; they put their hard work and much effort in achieving their goals (p. 184). Unlike ascribe, achieved status can change and or controlled based on the individual. To break down these statuses one can see that some categories might hold a higher position when describing who a person is and how they are viewed in society, such as an individual’s gender or race. Many people will quickly judge and label a person just by what they see in front of them.

For example, females are stuck in this norm and have been stereotyped since back in the day where, females were the ones that carried out the role of taking care of the family, doing all the household chores and were viewed in society below the male figure in the household. To add to this, society has also hinted this same stereotype to female through different forms of media, that females should look and act a certain way to ‘fit’ in with the norm of how the world sees the role of a woman and their place in society. If we were to look back in history we would see that females in did not have a voice, or a chance to speak up for themselves and they were taught to be seen and not heard and to just follow the path set to them by society as to what they felt a woman was supposed to be in charge of no more, no less. If we were to bring race into this same picture we would see that females from certain backgrounds where seen and treated differently. In addition, according to some feminist theorist they had a hard time in separating their ascribe status whereby if you were a black female in the 1970s due to the fact that the Civil Rights movement was happening about that same time. (Lewis & Mills, 2010) Situations like this make it tricky for an individual to decide which of these statuses they see themselves in or where they want to fit in. This would link into someone’s’ master status meaning that one trait they have, this is what society sees them as. Females should not have to choose one over the other, can they just not choose to be both? The answer here is no they should not have to choose over one trait over the other and master status should be so much more than just that one idea someone may have about a person. Agreeing to many feminist theorists, as a population, females should gain knowledge for themselves regarding many issues around the world. In order to, support each other through pushing for changes within the norm of stereotypes which have been prevalent for many years. There are still so many places in the world today that males still see females as blow their level and those women are not allowed to speak up or out in any forum; if they do they are to be punished for this behaviour. This is wrong everyone deserves to have a voice and to be heard no matter the race, or gender. For instance, when we look at the Middle Eastern society males hold in most cases a higher power and level of control over the women.

As women in the Middle Eastern society are told what to wear, what their duties and responsibilities are and how they are to act in public. For example, in India back in the day female widowers were supposed to independently committed sati (which means suicide) by burning themselves alive above their husband’s grave. In 1987 there was a case were an 18-year-old female widower was burnt alive not on her own free right after her husband’s death. This true story many years later was made into a movie. Where many protests occurred in these community because of this and they demanded to movie to be shut down. When other females found out about this they began their own movement to have this act banned and let the movie play on so that others would see what they have had to go through. Many of this feminist activists got ridiculed by certain people in their society and by their government.

One male leader described these female activists as; ‘females that do not respect their Hindu religion, they were too involved in the Western way of thinking and ideas and their feminism, had no morals’ (Joseph, 2018). These women continue to protest and are fighting to be heard and have changes made to the laws. Just by reviewing these areas we can see that females in general have to fight harder and stronger for change and for their rights to be heard. If females around the world support one another and fight for rights, changes to help support those in less fortunate situations. This will allow them to be heard have a voice and to become empowered and stronger. Females shouldn’t have to subjected to this type of control if the tables were reversed this type of behaviour would not even be a concern as male figures would not condemned or allow this to happen to other males. Feminist have made a huge step into making sure that the world sees that ascribe status whether male or female should not matter. Yes, females can vote, make important decision, get an education and job just as their male counterpart. But, there is still so much more work that needs to take place before a female is looked as equal to male. Females still have to fight harder to receive the same paying job and receive the same wages as a male. All together females have to keep protesting and pushing the boarders when it comes to different feminist situations, as well as, helping one another around the world so that female’s voices can be heard no matter young or old; whatever background or country you live.

Females stories must be told and shared whether good or bad in order to push for changes around the world. Another area where many just look at ascribe status more is age. Depending where you live in the world this can look a bit different, as some studies have shown that when it comes to young people transitioning into adulthood it can both be on an ascribe and achieved level. (Brannen, Dodd, & Oakley, 1996 p. 15) Ascribe being that the relationship they have with their family or group settings; for example, a son carrying on his family name and becoming the man of the house hold. Or achieved where young adults take their own paths and become the individuals they want to be early in life. With the changes in society and on the young generations today, young adults feel huge pressures in becoming the best they can be; while getting the approval or recognition from their parents/grandparents. Many young adults are trying to set a new name for themselves and are trying to break down the norms that have been placed upon them by those before them. Many choices made in these young lives are based on those of their parents or grandparent; which they will lead them to careers that will make them wealthy in order to support themselves and their aging elders. Or in some cases that on the family business and or footsteps.

Many older generations are stuck in the old time where they think young adults now should have a career set in place, should have a home, and should be starting their own families. (Brannen, Dodd, & Oakley, 1996 p. 19). If can support themselves, their families then the expectation is also to help and support their parents/grandparents just as they have been there for them all their life. In today’s society when it comes to the work force the only real thing that is looked for a young adult is their achievements and accomplishments way before they are even given a chance to show what they are capable of. This is not right as many, may have not had the same opportunities in life but this doesn’t mean that they are not better suited or qualified for the job. Young adults should not be judged solely based on an interview, as some maybe strong selling themselves verbally but may not show the qualities and experience needed to do the job.

Everyone should be given a fair chance at showing what they are capable of rather than being looked at solely on the level of schooling. If young adults are not being given a fair chance to prove themselves to gain experiences on the jobs then how can they build on skills without experiences. With this said many young adults have already shown and proven through school their life choices that they are ready, willing and capable of a chance to prove to themselves, their parents and society that whatever status they fall under that given a chance they can be successful. In conclusion, ascribe status usually for the most part will not change when describing who a person might be just by looking at them; but, by sharing stories and making sure that their concerns are being heard this will help make change. As a whole no matter age, race, gender or where you live around the world a voice should be heard and stereotypes can be broken if we all pull together to create those changes needed.

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