status (social status)

(noun) An individual’s position, often relative to others, in a group or society as characterized by certain benefits and responsibilities as determined by an individual’s rank and role.

Example: A teacher and student, the teacher fills the role of authority.

Audio Pronunciation: (sta·tus)

Download Audio Pronunciation: status.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • Plural: statuses
  • The terms status and social status are used interchangeably in a sociological context.
  • An individual often simultaneously occupies multiple statuses.
  • Statuses are complementary, dynamic, and relational.
  • The distinction between status and role is a status is what you “are” and a role is what you “do.” Being a parent is a status, being a provider for your children is a role.
  • Also called social status.
  • Types:
    • achieved status
    • ascribed status
    • master status
  • Status used in a sentence: I have multiple statuses as a student, a parent, and a worker.

Related Quotations:

  • “[As] you experience your social statuses; you live through them. They are the filters through which you see and make sense of the world , and in large measure they account for how you are treated and what you notice” (Rosenblum and Travis 2012:194).

Additional Information:

Related Terms: 



Rosenblum, Karen Elaine, and Toni-Michelle Travis. 2012. The Meaning of Difference: American Constructions of Race, Sex and Gender, Social Class, Sexual Orientation, and Disability. New York: McGraw-Hill.