Ascribed Status

Ascribed Status
The social status a person is assigned
at birth or assumed involuntarily later in
life. It is a position that is neither earned
nor chosen, but assigned
Example: Race, Ethnicity, Gender or
Ascribed Status
Achieved Status
Earned or gained through individual
 Not necessarily tried to group or class
 Example: Education / Occupation
 Social mobility is possible
 It reflects personal skills, abilities and
Achieved Status
Laws that govern society’s behaviours
 They are based on social control.
 Norms allow for a sense of conformity in
any given society/culture
 Those who do not follow the social
norms are labelled as deviants
Informal Norms: Based on routines that
people follow everyday. Legal
punishment is not linked to informal
norms, but warnings can occur.
 Example: Incest is not illegal, but is
considered “wrong” in our society
Formal Norms: Based on norms that are
linked to laws.
 Example: Driving on the right side of the
Mores are norms that are more widely
observed by a society and have a
greater moral significance.
 The term originated from Sociologist
William Graham Sumner
 Mores distinguish the difference
between right and wrong
 Example: Social taboos such as murder or
uttering the name of God in some cultures
Also created by William Graham Sumner
 Folkways are norms for routine or casual
interaction. This includes ideas about
appropriate greetings and proper dress in
different situations
 Folkways draw a line between right and
 Example: Respecting individuals right to privacy
in the bathroom or burping during a dinner party
Reflection Activity
Make a list of 20 norms you follow everyday
 Explain what would happen if you broke each
one of them.
 Which social norm would you be willing to
break today?
 What are some cultural norms from other
countries that you know of?
 Who in our culture would you considered to
be a social deviant (living outside of the
norms of society)? Explain your choices
 Due at the end of class  Worth 5 points!
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