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, 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 ?
Specifically, for families that feel there is poor communication between the school and themselves, or feel their caregiver role is trivialized, as Johnston (1998) identified, this type of systemic restructuring to increase family engagement may bring a more consistent and nonproblematic interface between home and school.
Gender differences have been demonstrated regarding the effects of the caregiver role.
Although a spouse is the most prevalent caregiver, other family members generally assume primary caregiver roles if the spouse-caregiver is (or becomes) unable to assume or maintain this responsibility.
The caregiver role fulfills one of the five conditions that Glasser (1992) has identified for creating a quality organization: "Quality is always a product of warm, caring human relationships" (p.
Called "Help for Cancer Caregivers," the web tool walks users through a brief survey and then provides personalized information to help monitor, track and manage the personal health challenges they face as a result of their caregiver role.
I still see Hayden taking on more of a caregiver role to Broden because I think he knows in his heart, he will always be caring for Broden in some capacity.
Although I worked in medical education, I was overwhelmed and underprepared to take on the caregiver role.
Catapulted into the accidental caregiver role without warning, stressed-out kids are doing their best to hold life together when everything seems to be falling apart.
By focusing on the decision making rather than the tasks, a more comprehensive picture of caregiver role and the associated burden emerged.
Objective caregiver burden: involves activities associated with the caregiver role, such as delivering practical physical care on a day-to-day basis or managing challenging behavioral changes in patients
This qualitative study recognizes stressors related to the children's behavior, parenting, and caregiver role.