Difference Between Ascribed and Achieved Status (With Table)

Status is the social position of a person in society, home, and office. Status describes a person’s religion, occupation, gender, age, and caste. A person’s behavior and role are defined by his status in society.  Status is categorized into two types one is ascribed status, and the other is achieved status.

Ascribed vs Achieved Status

The difference between Ascribed status and Achieved status is that Ascribed status is status obtained by birth that is inherited status such as religion, gender, and other inherited characteristics, whereas Achieved status is obtained by one’s own efforts such as education, skills, experiences, and profession. Ascribed status is given as per tradition and culture of the society, while achieved status is obtained as per one’s capabilities.

Ascribed Status describes a person’s religion, gender,  values, customs, and traditions. It is used in making personal relationships and following traditional values. Ascribed status is achieved without any efforts and does not require to fulfill any conditions. Ascribed status helps to satisfy inner feelings and affects the role of a person in traditional society.

Achieved status describes the professional accomplishments of a person. It changes with the change in skills, experience, and profession. Achieved status is achieved through hard work and commitment to goals. A person has to meet the eligibility criteria of a profession to achieve professional status, which affects the role of a person in modern society.

Comparison Table Between Ascribed and Achieved Status

Parameters of ComparisonAscribed StatusAchieved Status  
DefinitionIt is a status obtained by birthIt is a status obtained by education and skills.
RequirementsA person need not fulfill any requirements to achieve ascribed status.A person requires education qualification, skills, and expertise based on the profession he wants to achieve.
ExamplesGender, religion, caste, and raceThe profession of a person
SocietyAscribed status is significant in Traditional society  Achieved status is vital in the modern and industrial community.                                                 Achieved status is vital in the modern and industrial community.  
StatusThe status is fixed and unchanged throughout life.  The status changes over time based on one’s efforts.

What is Ascribed Status?

A status is a sociological term described based on the identity and personality of a person in society. Status defines the role, responsibilities of a person in the community. It differs from person to person. A person has one or more statuses within society. One is based on traditions, and the other on modern culture. Ascribed status is a status described in the traditional culture. It is the status of a person from his birth. The ascribed status will not change until the end of life and thereafter. The status includes gender, religion, race, caste, and position in the family. It is inherited from the family.

In the olden days, ascribed status was given more importance than achieved status when making alliances. People are known and differentiated by their ascribed status. Even today, in some countries ascribed status, is measured to give opportunities in the industrial society, such as men preferred over women.

A person has no control over his ascribed status and has to accept it to move. Ascribed status is improved values and fulfills the traditions. This status matters a lot in personal life than in professional. It helps to feel, understand, and satisfy the emotions and sentiments within and in society.

What is Achieved Status?

Achieved status is a status achieved by the individual through is hard work and dedication. Achieved status is given more importance in this modern society where gender, religion, and caste are just words. Achieved status is earned by a person with is skills, education, and experiences. A person sets a professional goal and achieves it with his dedication.

Achieved status also sets the roles and responsibilities of a person within the society. Society expects behavior and attitude from a person according to his achieved and ascribed statuses. Achieved status changes with the improvement in the professional experiences.

In this modern era, Achieved status is given more importance than ascribed status for making alliances. Men and women are given equal opportunities and respect in society. Achieved status increases self-confidence within a person.  A person has to fulfill certain requirements like qualifications, expertise to achieve his desired profession.

Achieved status also contributes to making personal lives better. A person has complete control over his achieved status. He can improve it or make it worse with his behavior and attitude.  It helps to change superstitious beliefs and contribute to the welfare of traditional society. Achieved status requires a person to behave well within society to maintain his status.

Main Differences Between Ascribed and Achieved Status

  1. Ascribed Status is a status given by the society at birth, while Achieved status is a status obtained by a person with his education and skills.
  2. Ascribed status is easily obtained, while achieved status requires efforts and commitment.
  3. Ascribed status helps to build a personal relationship, and achieved status helps to grow professional links.
  4. Ascribed status does not change with the change in achieved status, while achieved status changes over time.
  5. A person has no control over ascribed status but has control over achieved status.

Conclusion

Every person has a status in personal and professional life. A status defines his roles and responsibilities within the family and society. Both ascribed and achieved statues play a prominent role in a person’s life. Ascribed status helps a person to become a good person, follow the values, ethics, and culture of his religion. On the other hand, achieved status has to gain by a person to make his societal life better.  A person has to set a goal and achieve it to secure his life and family and fulfill his and his family’s financial needs within the society.

References

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305636841_Status_and_Role_in_Early_States_A_Comparative_Analysis
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1081602X.2018.1558412
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