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Differences between Ascribed and Achieved Status

Differences between Ascribed and Achieved Status

What is the difference between ascribed and achieved status? Ascribed status is assigned at birth, while achieved status is earned. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between these two types of status. We will also discuss how they impact our lives. Finally, we will provide some examples to help illustrate these concepts.

What is Ascribed Status?

Ascribed status is the social status a person is assigned at birth or assumed involuntarily later in life. Ascribed status cannot be achieved and is difficult to change. Examples of Ascribed Status include race, ethnic group, family background, and sex. An Ascribed Status greatly affects an individual’s expectations for their future.

While an Achieved Status is earned through hard work and personal choices, Ascribed Status limits an individual’s occupational opportunities and access to resources. As a result, Ascribed Status has a significant impact on social mobility and socioeconomic status. Despite the inherent advantages of Ascribed Status, it is important to remember that everyone should be judged on their own merits and not on the basis of factors beyond their control.

What is Achieved Status?

Achieved status is a concept used in the social sciences to describe the social position that a person attains through their own efforts. Unlike ascribed status, which is determined by factors such as birth or ethnic group, achieved status is based on merit or achievement. A person’s achieved status can be influenced by many factors, including education, occupation, and personal accomplishments. While achieved status is typically associated with positive outcomes, such as increased income and social prestige, it can also lead to negative consequences, such as stress and competition. Achieved status is an important concept in the study of social stratification and mobility.

Differences between Ascribed and Achieved Status

There are two ways in which an individual’s status can be determined: ascribed status and achieved status. Ascribed status is based on factors such as race, gender, or family background over which the individual has no control. Achieved status, on the other hand, is based on factors such as education, occupation, or personal accomplishments. Both ascribed and achieved status can have a major impact on an individual’s life.

  • Ascribed status is often seen as a hindrance to success, as it can limit an individual’s opportunities. For example, someone who is born into a poor family is likely to have a lower ascribed status than someone born into a wealthy family.
  • This can make it difficult for the individual to move up in society. However, achieved status is seen as a sign of success and can provide opportunities for upward mobility. For example, someone with high achieved status is likely to be respected by others and have better job prospects.
  • status can also affect an individual’s self-esteem. People with high ascribed status are often confident and secure in their place in society. On the other hand, people with low ascribed status may feel inferior and unworthy of respect.

Achieved status can also affect self-esteem but in a different way. People who have accomplished something significant often feel proud and fulfilled. However, people who have not been able to achieve their goals may feel disappointed and discouraged.


What kind of status do you want to achieve? The answer may not be as clear-cut as you think. We’ve looked at the differences between ascribed and achieved status and how each impacts our lives. Achieved status is something we earn through our own efforts, while ascribed status is given to us at birth or through some other external factor. It’s important to understand the distinction because it can influence our self-identity and how others see us.

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