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Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology Forum - Perennial Ideas and Debates that cross societal/time boundaries


View Poll Results: What social status role do you seek in your community?
Top leadership 4 17.39%
Beta (influential to leadership) 3 13.04%
Middle 4 17.39%
Not very involved 1 4.35%
Separate from community in general 8 34.78%
Other 3 13.04%
Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

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Old September 6th, 2014, 01:37 PM   #11
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Top leadership.

I don't always succeed, but I'm usually striving, unless I have a lot of respect for the person that is currently "on top".
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Old September 7th, 2014, 04:04 PM   #12
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The title of this thread says it all, what "role" do one seek in society.

What if one refuses to take on any roles that society offers? Is that possible? Is it possible to not fit any roles?

The sad reality is that its not. No matter what one does, it fits a role defined by society, and that is why I say nothing is original.

so its a waste of time to worry about what role to get, life is short and time is precious.
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Old September 8th, 2014, 04:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireatwill View Post
The title of this thread says it all, what "role" do one seek in society.

What if one refuses to take on any roles that society offers? Is that possible? Is it possible to not fit any roles?

The sad reality is that its not. No matter what one does, it fits a role defined by society, and that is why I say nothing is original.

so its a waste of time to worry about what role to get, life is short and time is precious.
It asks... "What social status role do you seek in your community?"

If I understand the article below correctly, "status" is something you and I can have expectations of determining, as well as being determined by society concerning our status. However, "role" appears to be the expectations of others that are placed on us by society.


According to the Dennis O'Neil article Social Organizations: Status and Role on the Palomar Community College in San Marcos, CA web site, there seems to be a difference between status and role.

Quote:
In all of the many social groups that we as individuals belong to, we have a status and a role to fulfill. Status is our relative social position within a group, while a role is the part our society expects us to play in a given status. For example, a man may have the status of father in his family. Because of this status, he is expected to fulfill a role for his children that in most societies requires him to nurture, educate, guide, and protect them. Of course, mothers usually have complementary roles.

Social group membership gives us a set of statuses and role tags that allow people to know what to expect from each other--they make us more predictable. However, it is common for people to have multiple overlapping statuses and roles. This potentially makes social encounters more complex. A woman who is a mother for some children may be an aunt or grandmother for others. At the same time, she may be a wife for one or more men, and she very likely is a daughter and granddaughter of several other people. For each of these various kinship statuses, she is expected to play a somewhat different role and to be able to switch between them instantaneously. For instance, if she is having a conversation with her mother and young daughter, she is likely to politely defer to the former but will be knowledgeable and "in-control" with the other. These role related behaviors change as rapidly as she turns her head to face one or the other. However, her unique personal relationships might lead her to think and act differently than what would be culturally expected. In other words, social group membership gives us a set of role tags that allow people to know what to expect from each other, but they are not always straight jackets for behavior.

The way in which people get our statuses can vary significantly in detail from culture to culture. In all societies, however, they are either achieved or ascribed. Achieved statuses are ones that are acquired by doing something. For instance, someone becomes a criminal by committing a crime. A soldier earns the status of a good warrior by achievements in battle and by being brave. A woman becomes a mother by having a baby. She also can acquire the status of widow by the death of her husband. In contrast, ascribed statuses are the result of being born into a particular family or being born male or female. Being a prince by birth or being the first of four children in a family are ascribed statuses. We do not make a decision to choose them--they are not voluntary statuses. We do not pick the family we are born into nor do we usually select our own gender.

Both achieved and ascribed statuses exist in all societies. However, some cultures choose to emphasize the importance of one or the other. In North America today, achieved statuses outside of the family are reinforced while ascribed ones are generally rejected. Children are encouraged from an early age to be independent and self-reliant. They are told to better themselves in life. This can be seen in the admiration of "self-made people" and in the somewhat negative image in the mass media of people who are rich only because they inherited it. This strong cultural bias has led to the enactment of anti-nepotism laws for government jobs. These make it a crime to hire and promote people because they are your relatives. In addition, the North American emphasis on achieved status has led to an acceptance and encouragement of social class mobility and a rejection of gender and ethnicity based restrictions. Children are taught in school from an early age that, despite the fact that they may be from a poor family, male or female, they should aspire to get a good education, better themselves and their family economically, and even become a leader in society.

In India, ascribed, rather than achieved, social status has been strongly reinforced for more than 3,000 years and permeates most areas of life even today. As a result, social mobility has been very difficult to achieve until recent generations. Even now, it is limited for those at the bottom of society. At the heart of the Indian ascription system are castes click this icon to hear the preceding term pronounced (or varnas click this icon to hear the preceding term pronounced). These are carefully ranked, rigidly hereditary social divisions of society.
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