According to my Sociology textbook, “Most of us occupy a number of positions in our lives (mother, wife, daughter, etc.). Since we all occupy more than one status in life, we will gravitate toward one that we call a master status.” When I read that, it got me to thinking, “What is my master status?”
Certainly one of my first master statuses was ‘daughter’. I was the baby in my family and the only girl in the Ford family. I wasn’t the first daughter, but my sister didn’t survive at birth in 1949.
I was also a ‘grandchild’ – the fourth out of five. I was also a ‘granddaughter’ – the second one of three.
I also am ‘sister’, ‘cousin’ and ‘niece’ within my family. I still strongly identify with ‘daughter’ even though I haven’t technically been anyone’s daughter for 7 years.
Outside my home, I soon became ‘friend’ and ‘student’. I was ‘student’ for the same amount of time as everyone else – 13 years.
|CHS Graduation 1977 – nice glasses|
I gave up my ‘student’ status for a long time – 33 years, and then I decided to “occupy” that status for a while again. I’ve been enjoying it rather a lot since I am pretty good at it.
Another outside-the-home status is ‘employee’ or ‘administrative assistant’. These last two statuses have put food on the table and a roof over our heads, but most of my jobs have just been a paycheck. If I am brutally honest, I’d rather be at home.
When I met Eric back in 1988, I became ‘girlfriend’ and then a year and a half later ‘wife’.
‘Wife’ has to be one of my favorite statuses and it was followed closely by ‘mother’. ‘Mother’ is the most demanding of my statuses but probably the most rewarding. As my sons have grown to be men, ‘mother’ is not as important in THEIR lives even though it still means so much to me. In my mind, they will always be my “babies”.
So what IS my master status? I don’t think I have just one. ‘Wife’ and ‘mother’ seem to fit the best at the moment although ‘student’ and ‘employee’ take up a great deal of my time these days.
SOURCE: Carl, John D., 2011. Think Sociology 2011. Prentice Hall: Saddle River, NJ.