Ascribed Status

An ascribed status would be the social status or labels reflected onto an individual by a society or community based on their birth. This would include the social classification of an individual in a familial perspective depending on what relationships with others they were born into (Ex: a son or a father). An individual can have multiple ascribed statuses making up their entire identity. This concept does not include a social status one might have pertain to themselves due to the accomplishment of a task while living (such as being labeled a criminal due to them robbing a bank).

Example of being Personally Affected by this Concept:
My personal ascribed status would be an ‘Asian American woman’ as I had been born in the United States of America and have descent from Asian origins. Due to not having done anything throughout my lifetime to inherit this title, it is a part of my identity as something I had been born as. When born into this family, I automatically became the biological daughter of my two parents. The label of a ‘daughter’ was given to me at birth. This ascribed status is used daily to identify me as being connected to an ethnicity or family. The label itself causes people to address me as someone’s daughter, as well as acknowledging me as an Asian American. These terms themselves hold their own significant roles as does every role one has associated with their social status. Although these roles may become more fluid depending on the culture of an individual and the multiple influences that society has on an individual’s values, many of these roles are recognized as similar. Personally, as my parent’s child, I understand that my parents have a responsibility to me and that there is a significance to me respecting and bonding with them. To interact with another individual, I take into consideration their ascribed status and achieved social status as they both influence the identity that a person has within a society.


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Our Sociological Glossary, by LWTech Students Copyright © 2021 by Lake Washington Institute of Technology is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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