Achieved and Ascribed Status Essay

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1. Give the title of the movie and a summary statement of the movie. I chose to watch the movie, “Trading Places” for the Achieved and Ascribed assignment. This movie relates what happens when two men with two entirely different ascribed statuses get switched to opposite social roles (achieved status). The two men did not make the choice to switch roles. It is through the whim of two very wealthy brothers – one who believes that one’s heredity influences the kind of life you will lead and the other believes it’s the environment that is the influencing factor (nature vs. nurture). They get the opportunity to prove which view is right by placing an African American hustler of the streets into the rich well to do life of their niece” fiancée, who is white, educated and privileged. The movie unfolds to see which of the brother’s psychological assessment proves true, as both men deal with newly assigned statuses. 2. Choose one character in the film. Discuss the character with regards to achieved status. Discuss the character with regards to ascribed status. Please be specific. If you don't remember the definitions of achieved and ascribed status, please review in your textbook. Billy Ray Valentine, one of the characters in the film – is African American, and his achieved status – the one he considers himself best at – is running hustles in the street to make money. In the opening of the film, the cops arrest him for pretending to be a crippled, blind Vietnam War veteran. He is quick-witted and smart and he achieves his goals not through working at a traditional job; instead he uses his environment and the people in it to make a living. Billy Ray feels that the best way to achieve his goals is by taking from people who earn their money at jobs. When he is placed in the privileged position it doesn’t take long for him to play the part of a wealthy stock manager,

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