Irreversible Status

Irreversible Status Sociology Definition


Irreversible status is the social status that is unable to be altered in any way. Reversible and Irreversible Statuses exist in both attained and assigned statuses. The reversible status may change in either direction and can be acquired or assigned.


To explain the ideas of “assigned status” and “achieved status,” Leo F. Schnore has proposed the additional concepts of “reversible status” and “irreversible status.”

An “irreversible status” either cannot alter at all, e.g., if a person is born a male, he must stay a male for the rest of his life, or it can change in only one direction, e.g., a person’s age may change from twenty-four to twenty-five in one year, but not the other way around. Additionally, “irreversible statuses” may be  “ascribed” or “achieved.”

Ascribed ReversibleAchieved ReversibleAscribed IrreversibleAchieved Irreversible
ReligionPlace of birth
Marital StatusKinship in family of orientation
Place of residenceRace
Kinship of family of procreation

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