A-Z Popular Blog Social Status Search »
Social Status
 Advertisements
Related Topics
Achieved Status

20 Examples of Ascribed Status

 , updated on January 22, 2024
Ascribed status is social status that is neither earned nor chosen. This includes anything that influences how you are perceived that is beyond your control. In practice, some types of ascribed status can be changed and are partially under your control. For example, nationality is considered ascribed status but people can change their nationality by immigrating. The following are common types of ascribed status.
Age
Ancestry
Birth Order
Birthplace
Caste
Disability
Ethnicity
Eye Color
Family
Family Role (e.g. Son, Daughter, Aunt, Uncle)
Gender
Hair Color
Health Problems
Height
Inherited Titles
Nationality
Physical Appearance
Race
Religion
Shoe Size

Ascribed Status vs Achieved Status

Achieved status is anything that influences how you are perceived that is within your control. For example, your income or educational achievements are achieved status.

Grey Areas

The delineation between ascribed and achieved status is often a grey area. For example, physical beauty can greatly influence how you are perceived and is a type of social status. Beauty is often considered natural as some individuals are born with features that are considered aesthetically appealing by a culture. However, some individuals who are considered unusually attractive feel that they achieved this status with efforts such as personal presence, fashion, personal care, beauty routines and lifestyle choices.

Discrimination

Treating people differently based on factors that they can't change is often considered discrimination. There are exceptions based on practical realities. For example, a national pension that is offered based on your age wouldn't be considered discrimination because this is based on the practical reality that people often need more support in old age. As an example of discrimination, schools in Japan often require all students to have black hair such that students with other hair colors are admonished and essentially required to dye their hair. This was discontinued recently in some school districts, including Tokyo, but students with non-black hair are still commonly required to submit proof of their natural hair color -- a process that is still discriminatory.

Overview

Ascribed status are circumstances beyond an individual's control that impact their perceived status in a social or cultural context. This includes things you are born with such as ethnicity and things that can change with time such as age.

Summary

The factors that contribute to ascribed status are cultural. For example, hair color may be meaningless to one culture but viewed as an element of your social identity and status in another.
Next: Achieved Status
More about social status:
Achieved Status
Advantage
Altruism
Ascribed Status
Authority
Brands
Coolness
Creative Class
Economic Opportunity
Elite
Elitism
Image
Intelligentsia
Leadership
Low Culture
Needs & Wants
Personal Brand
Personal Branding
Prejudice
Signaling
Social Acceptance
Social Class
Social Comparison
Social Exclusion
Social Hierarchy
Social Identity
Social Imagination
Social Norms
Social Position
Social Reality
Social Trust
Socioeconomic Factors
Socioeconomic Status
Status
Subculture
Upper Class
Winning
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.
 

References

Kiyoshi Takenaka, Tokyo high schools ask students to certify hair colour not altered, Reuters, Feb 2021.

Social Status

The common types of social status.

Radical Chic

The definition of radical chic with examples.

Conspicuous Conservation

An overview of the term conspicuous conservation.

Conspicuous Consumption

The subculture of visible wealth.

Name Dropping

An overview of name dropping.

Face

The definition of face with examples.

Shibboleth

The definition of shibboleth with examples.

Elitism

The definition of elitism with examples.

Middle Class

The definition of middle class with examples.

Social Mobility

The definition of social mobility with examples.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map