Our everyday encounters with others are heavily influenced by our…Our everyday encounters with others are heavily influenced by our social status, the position we occupy in the social system. Social status is highly context dependent. As an example, in the educational context a schoolteacher occupies a higher social status than students due to the teacher’s positional authority. At the same time, the teacher occupies a lower social status than the principal, and the principal occupies a lower status than the school superintendent. When the school superintendent visits the doctor, however, the doctor occupies a higher social status because of the doctor’s medical expertise, and because the visit happens in the doctor’s office, an environment in which the doctor feels comfortable and in charge, while patients often feel nervous and ill at ease.In the traditional family structure, fathers are typically considered the “head of the family” and perceive themselves as the ultimate authority. In intergenerational households, grandparents typically hold a place of honor. In patriarchal societies, the eldest son has a special place in the family compared to his siblings.In addition to occupation, age, and gender, race can also play a powerful role in one’s social status. Historically, people with lighter skin tones have been associated with positive moral and intellectual qualities, and have been considered more physically attractive, than those with darker skin.Most people find themselves enjoying a higher social status in certain social situations, while coping with a lower social status in others. That said, some people find themselves in that higher social status most of the time, while others rarely have those same advantages.Think about daily interactions with others and provide example of social status. What are some of the social expectations that go along with these roles? Have you ever deviated from the expectations of your social role? If so, what were the consequences? Overall, do you think that strict adherence to social norms is beneficial or detrimental to society? Social ScienceSociology SOCS 185
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