sociology problem.

First, your essay should explore how this passage illustrates social statuses. What is the status Orwell occupies in the story? Don’t answer too quickly because, actually, there are several statuses he occupies, some more obvious than others. Don’t forget his latent statuses. He explicitly mentions two latent statuses that together probably also shaped the impressions the native crowd had of him. Finally, which of his statuses were achieved and which were ascribed? Was his master status achieved or ascribed? As you describe Orwell’s statuses be sure to identify and define not only social status, but also the concepts of status set, master status, latent and manifest statuses, and achieved and ascribed statuses. His story includes at least one of each of these types of status so be sure to indicate at least one example of each type.

Next, let’s consider how those social statuses constrain Orwell’s behavior in this situation. How was his behavior limited and enabled by his social statuses? Which status is likely to be most important for understanding the passage. Manifest status may have the most impact on behavior, but latent statuses often enter into the process as well. If you have not already done so, define manifest status and indicate which of his statuses is his manifest status. Incidentally, do you think his manifest status is also his master status? Why?

The text for this course claims that roles constrain behavior. What evidence does Orwell give that he felt he had little choice about what he did in this piece? To answer this you should identify what he thought he should do, what was expected of him, and what he actually did. Was his behavior because of his status? How plausible would it be for someone other than Orwell to have shot the elephant given the social statuses of the other people present? If you had been the police officer there instead of Orwell, do you think you would have shot the elephant? Do you think most people would have done so? In other words, was that behavior expected of Orwell as an individual or anyone occupying that social status?

Overall, do you feel that this perspective helps identify the most important insights in this essay?   

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