Pre-Medicine

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MCAT

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Status and Social Stratification

Master Status

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Summary

A master status is an individual’s most important status, which dominates their other statuses (including Ascribed Statuses and Achieved Statuses) . In other words, master status is the social position with the most importance in a person’s social identity, often shaping a person's entire life.

Key Points


Example

An ex-convict may have multiple assigned statuses (American, white ethnicity) or achieved statuses (works as a cashier), but her primary identifying status, or her master status, remains that as an ex-convict. This status dominates in the formation of her social identity.