(redirected from caregiver role)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.


, r?le
1. a part or character in a play, film, etc., to be played by an actor or actress
2. Psychol the part played by a person in a particular social setting, influenced by his expectation of what is appropriate


  1. any relatively standardized social position, involving specific rights and obligations which an individual is expected or encouraged to perform, e.g. parental role.
  2. ‘the dynamic aspect of STATUS’, where 'status’ refers to the position and ‘role’ to its performance (R. Linton, 1936); it is more usual, however, for the term ‘role’ to apply to both position and performance, with 'status’ also being used as an alternative term for position. Roles may be specific or diffuse, ascribed or achieved - see PATTERN VARIABLES. In SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM the term ‘role’ is used differently. In this perspective social identities and social action are analysed as the outcome of taking the role of the other’, rather than from adopting ready-made roles. Role-playing, a form of social training where people take part in group exercises in which they act out a range of social roles, has a similar basis. The expectation is that acting out social roles, including those with which one initially lacks sympathy, will bring greater social understanding.
In FUNCTIONALISM, the theory of role stresses the normative expectations attached to particular positions and the way in which roles are associated with INSTITUTIONS. The emphasis is on the acquisition and enacting of behaviour patterns determined by NORMS and rules. MERTON (1949) suggested the further notion of role-set, to refer to the range of role relationships associated with a given status. It is recognized that the individual is likely to encounter tensions (role conflict) in coping with the requirements of incompatible roles, e.g. the roles of worker and mother, or lecturer and researcher. The functional theory of role has been criticized, however, for sometimes implying a static, unchanging conception of social action.

The earlier, symbolic interactionist approach to ‘role’, associated with G. H. MEAD, contrasts with that of functionalism, in that for Mead ‘role-taking’ is mainly of interest as an essential process in the development of the SELF. Both adults and children establish conceptions of self by imagining themselves in others’ positions (see also LOOKING-GLASS SELF), but there is no conception of fixed roles in the way central to functionalism, and the continually ‘renegotiated’ character of social action is emphasized.

The writings of GOFFMAN provided other examples of role analysis, e.g. the concept of ROLE DISTANCE, where the performer of a role adopts a subjective detachment from the role.



(1) A personage in a drama or screenplay and the corresponding character embodied by an actor in a stage production, film, or radio play. A role may be comic, tragic, dramatic, or tragicomic, and principal or secondary. A walk-on is a role without spoken lines or one with lines amounting to two or three sentences. An incidental role is one occurring in a single episode of a production, for example, the Horn Player in Gorky’s Egor Bulychov and the Others. In the musical theater a role is the same as a part.

(2) The lines assigned to one of the characters in a play or film.

References in periodicals archive ?
Interventions for caregivers of patients with BPAD could include improving their awareness of their own positive caregiving experiences as a potential means to support their continued positive engagement in their caregiver role.
that a caregiver role exist [ed]" between [defendant hospital] and [patient].
Fathers are not always ready to assume a direct caregiver role immediately following birth, but complications such as a cesarean section suddenly present a need.
The parents or whoever is assuming the caregiver role grieves for the healthy child who "was", while making the adjustment to the chronically ill child who "is" and will continue to be.
Alternatively, it is possible that family members who experienced considerable psychological distress were unable to maintain the caregiver role over time (and the rather intense duties required in this clinical scenario) and were, perhaps, underrepresented at the clinic, generally.
Similarly, 20% of Americans with a high school education or less fulfill a caregiver role versus 15% of college graduates and 16% of postgraduates.
Today, caregivers juggle many responsibilities outside the caregiver role.
currently serve in a caregiver role for their elderly parents or loved ones and are quickly approaching their own senior years.
With the paradigm shift to treating cancer as a chronic illness, it is inevitable that the caregiver role will ultimately be impacted.
It reflects the impact of care giving on interpersonal relationships, expression of caregiver anxiety, and the personal impact of the caregiver role (Browing & Schwirian, 1994).
The caregiver role often is draining physically and emotionally and should not be overlooked.