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Friday, 24 October 2014

Factors determining Social Status



An individual has two types of status in a society. Ascribed and Achieved, the elements of determining the kinds of status are different. These are given below:

1. Elements Determining Ascribed Status

Sex or Gender :
With the birth of an individual; one's status is determined with reference to one's sex or gender and the whole life treatment with one's is done by keeping in view one's ascribed status of sex or gender, which include dress, food, training and social goal and this is in general one's master status.

ii. Age : 
Status has a deep relation with age because of his position. Other people treatment with him, his duties and rights and expected role is determined by hi age. In a society, a child of three or four years and an old man of fifty or sixty have social positions quite different in spite of all factors being constant, where an individual's effect or ability is not concerned but the position is determined by structure system.

iii. Cast or Social Background : 
In the societies of the Sub-continent, caste is thought important as ascribed status whereas in American society social background plays an important part in determining the ascribed status. Negroes are thought low in status to white men status. In South Africa, under aparthed, blackmen and Asians compared with white men are considered lower in status which affects their ascribed status negatively. Such type of ascribed status superiority gives rise to racism which causes social deprivation in a society.

2. Elements Determining Achieved Status  

i. Occupation : 
Occupation plays an important role in determining the achieved. status. I affects in two ways the position of an individual. In agrarian and reside societies, occupation has social and family position and continues from family t family. Thus, through races that occupation is a means of earning of the family For example, blacksmith, carpenter, weaver, etc. These occupations give the id of their ascribed status because the occupation of the parent determines t primary social position but afterwards when an individual by his own labour an ability adopts a profession that also determines his status. That occupation may his parent's occupation or a newly adopted one. But the effects of occupation related with the structure and nature of the society. Just as an individual belonging to a carpenter's family becomes a doctor by his hard work, education an intelligence, the effects of his parent's occupation will affect his status and new adopted status will be of less importance whereas, in a modern and urban societies the status, of an individual will be determined by his newly adopted occupation and parent occupation will have less importance.
Margaret Mead recorded this observation in his research of tribal heads New Guinea that people thought the occupation as ascribed status and changing thought as social deviation. In Pakistan, the same concept of status exists.

ii. Economic Resources : 
Economic resources i.e., wealth, property and way of getting wealth, have importance in determining the status in a society. In spite of difference of structure of a society, landlords, industrialists and wealthy people have been enjoying high status and in social classification their status is counted as high whereas people with less income have less social status and by classification they are considered of lower grade people. According to the Karl Marx's theory, the determination of status on the basis of resources of wealth is a weapon of the bourgeoisie through which that does cruelty and exploitation in the proletariat class.

iii. Power and Authority : 
Power and authority has always been very important in the societies despite their structure and socio-economic functions. From ancient Hunting and Gathering societies to Agrarian societies and in the modern industrial societies, power and authority has always been an important element and the other individuals of the society have always accepted their power and their position and status and they affect the group and collective decision of a society. Dahrendroff 1959, who is a modern conflict theorist, he says while analyzing the theory of Karl Marx that in ancient tribes, the tribe headship or chief was considered a high status because it was used to change the behaviour of others or decisions or to impress others to continue 4.0 exploit. Thus, in the modern industrial societies, the owner of the industry, manager, legislature, judiciary, bureaucracy and government heads not only keep their power and authority but also try to increase that power to have more respect, honour and regard so that their status should be thought high and superior.

iv. Education : 
Education is a modern element to determine status. In ancient times, magic or such arts were favourite with the ruling class. Masonry, artist, sculpturing and weaponry had some importance in the determination of status. In the age of modern science and technology, the importance of knowledge has increased. Educated and skilled persons have got honour in the modern urban societies and education has been included to determine the status. Education has a status of an important weapon for the achievement of profession, power and authority.

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