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Social position

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Social position means a position of an individual in a given society and culture. A given position (for example, the occupation of priest) may belong to many individuals. Social position influences social status. One can have several social positions, but only one social status.

Social positions an individual may hold fall into the categories of occupation (medical doctor, academic lecturer), profession (member of associations and organisations), family (parent, sibling, etc.), hobby (member of various clubs and organisations), among others. An individual is likely to create a personal hierarchy of such positions, where one will be a central position while the rest are perhiperal positions.

Social positions are visible if they require an individual to wear a uniform or some other kind of identifying mark. Often individual clothes or other attributes will advertise what social position one has at the moment. Non-visible social positions are called hidden. A position that is deemed the most important to given individual is called central, others are peripheral. If a sequence of positions is required to obtain a given position, it can be defined as a career, and change of position in this context is a promotion or demotion. Some social positions may make it easier for a given person to obtain others; in other cases, some positions may be restricted based to individuals meeting specific criteria.

Social position together with social role determines individual's place in the social environment and social organisation. A group of social positions will create a social class and a social circle.

A social conflict caused by interference between social positions is called a position conflict.


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