Essay On Status Inconsistency

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Throughout history, the human race has tried to label and organize themselves and the world. One tool people have utilized to organize themselves in various societies is social structure. A social structure is comprised of different statuses and roles that individuals assume or are assigned. Although beneficial in some ways, social structures can cause internal struggles and tension in people’s lives, specifically status inconsistency. In this essay I will examine how social structures can cause status inconsistency by defining role and statuses, defining status inconsistency, and providing a personal example.
Simply put, a status is a position held by an individual in a social structure (McIntyre, 121). They are identities we have that play a part in how people interact with us, and how we interact with others. There are a variety of different types of statuses, for example occupational status or ethnicity. With these statuses comes expectations. The sum of expectations about the behaviors attached to a status is called a role. (McIntyre, 123) One of
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Either way the roles and expectations attached to those statuses are set whether we like them or not. This can lead to certain types of role or status tension in someone’s life. One of the tensions that I have personally experienced is status inconsistency. Status inconsistency is “when an individual comes to occupy multiple statuses that, in combination, do not mesh with social expectations,” (McIntyre, 125). Because my residents are my peers, they do not expect me to be able to tell them what to do. But, my role as a resident advisor is to enforce policies in my hall, which gives me a degree of authority over them. The problem is not necessarily that I am a 20 year old and a resident advisor, but that this combination makes me a young person with authority over them, which does not match their expectations of a

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