Social status  

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Napoleon was a VIP Illustration: Napoléon Bonaparte abdicated in Fontainebleau (1845) by Paul Delaroche
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Napoleon was a VIP
Illustration: Napoléon Bonaparte abdicated in Fontainebleau (1845) by Paul Delaroche

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In sociology or anthropology, social status is the honor or prestige attached to one's position in society (one's social position). It may also refer to a rank or position that one holds in a group, for example son or daughter, playmate, pupil, etc.

Social status, the position or rank of a person or group within the society, can be determined two ways. One can earn their social status by their own achievements, which is known as achieved status. Alternatively, one can be placed in the stratification system by their inherited position, which is called ascribed status. Ascribed statuses can also be defined as those that are fixed for an individual at birth. Ascribed statuses that exist in all societies include those based upon sex, age, race ethnic group and family background. For example, a person born into a wealthy family characterized by traits such as popularity, talents and high values will have many expectations growing up. Therefore, they are given and taught many social roles as they are socially positioned into a family becoming equipped with all these traits and characteristics. Achieved statuses meaning also what the individual acquires during his or her lifetime as a result of the exercise of knowledge, ability, skill and/or perseverance. Occupation provides an example of status that may be either ascribed or achieved, it can be achieved by one gaining the right knowledge and skill to become socially positioned into a higher position of that job; building a persons social identity within the occupation.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Social status" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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