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18 Examples of Achieved Status

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Achieved status is social status that is earned through action and inaction. This can be contrasted with ascribed status that you can't change such as your age or height. The following are common examples of achieved status.

Income & Wealth

Income and stored wealth. It is common for individuals to signal wealth with products that people recognize to be expensive. Wealth can also be countersignaled. For example, an individual who doesn't mention they took a first class flight and stayed in a expensive hotel when they describe a trip because they view such talk as low class.


Being a good person who demonstrates concern for people and the environment. In some cases, acts of altruism are motivated by a desire for social status as opposed to the desire to help out.


Formal control of resources, strategy, rules and organizations such as a politician or chief executive officer.


Influence over resources, organizations and thought. For example, an academic who has redefined how people think about an important topic.

Cultural Capital

Cultural capital is the ability to influence within a particular culture such as a sailor who can immediately gain the respect of other sailors within a short conversation due to their overwhelming sailing experience and ability to build rapport.


A position in a society, culture, religion or organization such as a kannushi at a Shinto shrine.


Practicing a respected profession such as a doctor.


Earned memberships in societies, cultures and organizations. For example, an individual who works for a prestigious firm.


Friends and other social connections such as family. For example, an individual who is well known and generally liked in a community.


Being widely known by many people such as an athlete who is a household name.


Being perceived as intelligent. Actual intelligence can differ greatly from perceived intelligence. For example, an extremely intelligent individual may put no effort into trying to appear intelligent whereas less intelligent individuals may put much effort into appearances.


The ability to impress others within the context of a culture, subculture or super culture. For example, a street fashion enthusiast who is perceived as fashionable by other street fashion enthusiasts.


Accomplishments that earn respect such as an athlete who represents their country in the Olympics.


Official recognition of accomplishments such as winning an Olympic medal.


Educational accomplishments such as a degree from a well known university.


Family related achieved status such as being viewed as a good father.

Social Skills

Demonstration of social skills such as an individual who is always making people laugh and feel comfortable.


Elements of your character that earn respect from others such as a person who is viewed as honest, diligent and hard working by their peers.


The following are common types of achieved status.


Achieved status is a social position that results from effort, talent and results. This is the primary type of social position in a meritocracy.


Achieved status can also be negative such as an individual who is perceived as narcissistic by peers.
Definition: Achieved Status
Definition (1)
Social status produced by the merit of an individual.
Definition (2)
Social status that is earned through action and inaction.
Related Concepts
Next: Ascribed Status
More about social status:
Achieved Status
Ascribed Status
Creative Class
Economic Opportunity
Low Culture
Needs & Wants
Personal Brand
Personal Branding
Social Acceptance
Social Class
Social Comparison
Social Exclusion
Social Hierarchy
Social Identity
Social Imagination
Social Norms
Social Position
Social Reality
Social Respect
Social Trust
Socioeconomic Factors
Socioeconomic Status
Upper Class
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Linton, Ralph. "The study of man: an introduction.", 1936.

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