One can occupy more than one attribute a process known as the status set, for example, as mother, daughter, attorney, patient, employee and passenger. The ascribed status is different from acquired status in that ascribed impact virtually and immediately on any aspect of life of an individual. These include gender, race and social class. Status is a position in the social system that one should not confuse with ranks or prestige. Prestige can either be high or low. For example, a physician will be ranked with a higher prestige rank than a teacher or a secretary in United States. Due to these statuses, identification and ranking social stratification has come up. There is no society known whose woman’s status has been ranked more than that of man.
Role is an expected behaviour associated with the status. It is what an individual represents in the society. These are usually performed according to social norms, shared rules that guide behaviour of people in specific situations. Fathers and mothers, male and female, sons and daughters, are all statuses with different normative role requirements of them attached. Social norms and artefacts dictate the responsibilities and the privileges that are attached to these statuses (KIRSCH, 1999). For example, the role of a father is that he is viewed as the bread winner, whereas a mother is expected to love, nature, self-sacrifice, home make and be available. Some societies today allow for flexibility of the roles due to the rapid changes taking place in our society. This has created a lot of uncertainty and a normlessness society due to state of flux. This is because the traditional norms are fading away and are being replaced by new ones. For example, today in the labour market gender impacting issues have come up significantly leading to increased women. Women therefore today play both the roles of mothers and employee as they are required to be at home for her role as a mother and later be at work