I am still a young person, which means that I have more ascribed statuses in my life than achieved ones. Also, at this stage of life, my ascribed statuses have more influence on my socioeconomic position in the societal structure. The basic ascribed statuses played a crucial role in guiding me toward the position in which I find myself today. The fact that I come from a middle-class family from Saudi Arabia significantly increased my chances of receiving high-quality primary and secondary education, compared to, for example, individuals from Third World countries or even less economically secured social categories in Saudi Arabia. Born in a large family, I have six brothers and a sister. Such large system of family ties means that ascribed status of “brother” plays a crucial role in my ordinary life. Also, being part of a large family with a father and a mother, I have been receiving support and care throughout my childhood, which improved my mental health and academic performance. My ascribed statuses have also made a great impact even on my achieved statuses. For example, the fact that I managed to enter American University and study a prominent and fascinating specialization of Cyber-security in the US is, on one side, an achieved status, yet it is quite possible that I wouldn’t have the possibility to continue my education here if I was born in a set of less lucky socioeconomic conditions. As another example, because my parents financially managed to afford my piano lessons, and also buying a piano, I managed to achieve the skills and knowledge that made it possible for me to acquire the above achieved statuses. Therefore, it seems that ascribed statuses play an incredibly important role in my location in social structure even today, when I am 29 years old. For instance, being a Muslim and a part of Millennial generation has also influenced the systems of my values and attitudes. While I have come to many moral conclusions by myself in, I have developed the existing worldview in the existing cultural context. It is quite doubtful that I would have managed to generate the same system of values and attitudes if I was born, for example, in a working-class non-Muslim family in a Third World country. Furthermore, being a man in Saudi Arabia family means that I was encouraged from an early age to be successful in my academic performance. In Saudi-Arabian culture, patriarchy is quite powerful, which means that my ascribed status of a man opened many possibilities for career development (Baki, 2004). In other words, I think that my demographic background, which is expressed through such ascribed statuses as being a millennial Muslim male coming from a middle-class Saudi Arabian family, has made the most impact on who I am today and on my position in the social structure. However, with time and experience, I will certainly acquire more of the achieved statuses that would grow in their significance in locating me within the social stratification system. Moreover, some of the achieved statuses play a crucial role in my current location in a social structure. I managed to enter American university and migrate to this country. Living in a highly developed country with access to high-quality education, medicine, and other living conditions made an incredibly powerful impact on my ability to further develop my interests, skills, curiosities, and ambitions. However, such achieved status has the other side to it, as in American society I have automatically developed the status of a migrant. While I am studying, this status does not play a significant role in my everyday life, because American universities are quite multicultural and liberal. However, after my graduation, I might start feeling a change in the societal perception of me as a migrant.Therefore, there is a dual influence of my most important achieved statuses – migrating to the US and studying cybersecurity in a university – because on the global scale they reinforce my position in the social structure, yet in the new realities of the US, I am highly likely to be perceived as an outsider.
The phenomenon of social stratification and the distribution of social roles are extremely important for a large modern society to function effectively. Because modern life involves actions, labor, and knowledge in multiple spheres of cultural, political, and economic realms, it is simply impossible for each community member to be involved in every part of the social production. Therefore, modern society is built upon the distribution of social roles, with various social groups doing their separate jobs of developing one sphere of social existence. The complexity of modern social roles and statuses system is so high that if these attributes would disappear, it is quite possible that the society would fall into chaos and would lose its stability of economic and cultural development.
Baki, R. (2004). Gender-Segregated Education in Saudi Arabia: Its Impact on Social Norms and the Saudi Labor Market. education policy analysis archives, 12(28), n28