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Discussion Questions

The concepts of ascribed and achieved status are applicable to all individuals irrespective of where they come from. These concepts try to classify a person’s status in society. Ascribed status is acquired involuntary and no one has the opportunity to choose. This status is assigned to an individual irrespective of their ability or differences.  Contrary, achieved status is acquired through personal efforts, sacrifices and initiatives. Individual variation plays undisputed role as far as achieved status is concerned. Maria has both the ascribed and achieved statuses. First, she is a woman, a status she never worked or chose to be; this leads her into a status of being a woman and a mother of two.  Assuming that Maria was raised in a catholic church or married to a catholic to become a practicing catholic we conclude that this is an ascribed status. On the other hand, if she joined the denomination from a personal decision it becomes an achieved status. The position of being the president of the PTA has both aspects of ascribed and achieved statuses. She is a member of the PTA because she has children in the school. In addition to this, she becomes the president because she had what it takes particularly on leadership and work experience. The post of being a tenured professor in a given university is an achieved status. She worked hard to achieve the status and hence personal efforts lead her to what she is. She still continues developing her career through research (Schaefer, 2011).

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Role conflict is a social issue where an individual is confronted with incompatible roles and responsibility. Occupying different statuses is a key cause of role conflict among many people today. Role conflict is experienced in personal lives of individuals, at work places and within the government. When people disagree about what is expected of them it leads into interpersonal role conflict. The inability to satisfy expectations in a given role as a result of concentration on another role is a common form of role conflict.  Maria has several roles to play in the society. She is a wife, a mother, a career woman and president to a PTA in a school. These roles must be fulfilled by her as she is responsible. However, time limit and the biological nature of human being, she may not be in a position to fulfill all of them effectively. Eventually, she will be faced by cases of role conflict from time to time.

Lenski has played a significant role in the development of the concept society and technology status. His work describes steps taken in technology from preindustrial to what is referred to postmodern society. He came up with various societies each based on technological application. The first step is hunter and gatherer society which is associated with simple technology to assist in hunting and gathering. The second step is the horticultural and pastoral society (Schaefer, 2011). This group was the first to cultivate crops where hand tools were used in farming. The third stage comprised of agrarian society where the concept of large scale farming was first developed. Agriculture was made more efficient through the application of plough technology. This marked the dawn for civilization. Industrial society is the fourth step; it is associated with application of heavy machines with sophisticated sources of energy in industries and agricultural sectors. The last and the current error is the information driven economy. The application of information technology has increased at an alarming rate where people are increasingly applying the technology to resolve their challenges; there is a shift from industrial works to information processing opportunities (Schaefer, 2011). 

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