Most of us occupy various different statuses in society, depending on the setting. Learn about the definition of status set in sociology and see some examples.
Status and Role
In sociology, the term status refers to a person’s rank or position in a particular context. Associated with a status are various expectations and, in some cases, privileges called roles. For example, in this context, you are a student. Therefore, it is expected that you will review the information presented and complete an associated quiz to assess the degree to which you learned it.There are two types of statuses: ascribed and achieved.
Ascribed statuses are those that come with birth. As a result, they are not chosen voluntarily. So, the status of parent, child, and sibling are examples of ascribed statuses.
Achieved statuses, on the other hand, are those that come with effort. So, being a spouse, employee, or homeowner are examples of achieved statuses because they are chosen.Consider the following sentence: Because I am a(n) _____, I have to _____. So, you might say, ‘Because I am a therapist, I have to listen to clients speak, help them to formulate solutions, and keep accurate records of our sessions.
‘ In this example, therapist is an achieved status because it is something you chose and is the result of your effort. You were not born a therapist. In addition, listening to clients speak, helping them to formulate solutions, and keeping accurate records of sessions are roles associated with that status. They are behaviors in which you are expected to engage because of your status as a therapist. You are encouraged to complete the sentence above with statuses and roles that apply to you.
Definition of Status Set
Now that you understand what sociologists mean when they use the term status, you can better understand what is meant by status set. A status set is all of the statuses that a person holds in a particular context. As we said before, in this context, you are a student. However, you might also occupy other statuses, such as parent, spouse, child, sibling, employee, or homeowner (just to name a few). If one status is dominant over all of the others, it is called a master status.
Tonya is married to Jacques.
Although she is a police officer in the city in which they live, she frequently states that her most important job is being a mother to their two children, Xavier and Carlos. Tonya graduated from the nearby public university in the state and heads up the community watch program in her neighborhood.Based on what you know about Tonya, you can conclude that her status set includes woman, wife, mother, police officer, college graduate, and head of community watch. However, if you had more information, you would know that she occupies many more statuses. It is possible that mother is her master status, as she seems to prioritize it over all others.
In sociology, a status is a person’s rank or position in a particular context. Associated with a status is a variety of expectations and privileges called roles. If a status is beyond a person’s control, it is referred to as ascribed. If it is under a person’s control, it is referred to as achieved. The entire collection of all of the statuses that a person assumes is called a status set. If one status is dominant over all of the others, it is called a master status.