Definition of Achievement
Examples of Achievement
- Graduating from university with high marks.
- Professional success such as rising to the top of a company.
- Scoring high on the Graduate Record Exam or Law School Admissions Test.
- An athlete winning a gold medal in the Olympics.
- American English – /uh-chEEv-muhnt/
- British English – /uh-chEEv-muhnt/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /əˈtʃivm(ə)nt/
- British English – /əˈtʃiːvm(ə)nt/
- Plural: achievements
- The difference of achievement in education among classes, ethnicities or races, and sex is called the achievement gap.
- An achievement-based stratified society or system allocates status based on achievements and is meritocratic.
- Achievement is compared and contrasted to ascribed status.
- Also called accomplishment.
- “By depriving people of access to opportunities, for instance, discrimination often leads to lack of qualification for them. The involuntary ascribed and negatively evaluated categorical status that emerges from discrimination not only takes precedence over any achieved status but reduces the probability of such achievement, thereby lowering all life chances. Put simply, discrimination makes it more difficult for the objects of discrimination to develop merit and reduces the likelihood that their merit will be recognized and rewarded” (McNamee and Miller 2013:180).
- “In the image of the American Dream, America is the land of opportunity. Presumably, if you work hard enough and are talented enough, you can overcome any obstacle and achieve success. No matter where you start out in life, the sky is ostensibly the limit. According to the promise implied by the American Dream, you can go as far as your talents and abilities can take you” (McNamee and Miller 2013:1).
- “The feminist perspective assumes that gender is socially created, rather than determined by one’s biological inheritance, and that change is essential in order for people to achieve their human potential without limits based on gender. It also assumes that society reinforces social expectations through social learning, which is acquired through social institutions such as education, religion, and the political and economic structure of society” (Kendall 2006:18).
- Economic Sociology Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “achievement” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Babcock, Donald C. 1929. Man and Social Achievement: An Introduction to Social Evolution. New York: Longmans, Green.
- Brooks, David. 2012. The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement. New York: Random House.
- Lemann, Nicholas. 1999. The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
- McNamee, Stephen J., and Robert K. Miller. 2013. The Meritocracy Myth. 3rd ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
- Riordan, Cornelius H. 1997. Equality and Achievement: An Introduction to the Sociology of Education. New York: Longman.
- achieved status
- achievement motivation
- credential society
- cultural capital
Kendall, Diana. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
McNamee, Stephen J., and Robert K. Miller. 2013. The Meritocracy Myth. 3rd ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged. 6th ed. 2003. Glasgow, Scotland: Collins.
Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.
Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.
Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “achievement.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved December 11, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/achievement/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
achievement. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/achievement/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “achievement.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed December 11, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/achievement/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“achievement.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 11 Dec. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/achievement/>.