‘Status’ is a term used in sociology todescribe a position in society. Individuals occupy multiple statusessimultaneously, such as occupational, kinship, and educational statutes.Kinship, occupation and age are all examples of a status that individuals fill.’Masterstatus’ is a type of status that has a profound effect on one’s life, thatdominates or overwhelms the other statutes one occupies. The five masterstatuses according to “The Meaning of Difference,” is, race, sex, socialstatus, sexuality and disability. This type of status help shape how anindividual is viewed by other as well as how they view themselves.
“TheMeaning of Difference” book defines ‘Intersectionality’ as a consideration ofthe ways that master statutes interact and mutually construct one another. Whenan individual’s identity overlaps, it causes them to face many forms ofdiscrimination.From a young age, individuals are embeddedwith the idea of how women and men are supposed to look and act. There are aset of norms associated with males and females that society expects the individualto follow. As women, we are expected to be submissive, portraying ourselves as thecaregiver of the family. There are certain professions that society expect femalesto be in- jobs that involve them to be caring and comforting. Often, a nurse ora teacher is labeled as a job for women. Men are portrayed as being masculine,tall, dark and handsome.
Men are seen as the dominant gender, beingindependent, strong and brave. Men are expected to be in jobs that requirephysical, high-paying jobs like a lawyer or a doctor. This master status hasimpacted my life growing up because from a very young age I felt pressured intofinding a “women job.
” I always felt like it would be harder for me to thrivein what is considered a male-dominant job. If I were to enter a job mostly doneby men, society would look at me like I’m crazy.Another disadvantage of being a female inthe workplace is that most women experience a lower level of pay. As I enter mycareer, I will experience unfairness such as being denied certain workopportunities (rejection of raises and leadership positions).
I have also struggledwith being a biracial individual. My father was born and raised in the MiddleEastern country of Lebanon while my mother was born in the States. Many peoplehave a hard time believing that I am part Lebanese because my outward appearancesays otherwise. I believe that society assigns you to the race that you lookmore alike.
Because I don’t have the “dark skin” or “dark hair” most peopleconsider me as white. This makes me feel that people don’t accept or appreciatethe other side of me. They are only seeing the side that they want to see.Although being biracialhas its disadvantages, it was also very beneficial growing up into adulthood.
Beingbiracial has influenced my work, religion,food, and social standards. Having family living on the other side of the worldgave me the opportunity to travel and experience their culture first hand. It gave me the chanceto see differences between the two cultures and become more open-minded todifferent races. I think being biracial can bring a lot of positives to theworkforce. It creates diversity among individuals and I feel we learn to appreciateindividuals and where they come from. Every culture has a different way ofthinking and perspectives that can increase creativity within the workplace. Every individual has been impacted by master statuses bot negativelyand positively in some point in their life.
It is important for society toconsider individuals differences and to understand how people’s lives are affectedby these differences.