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role expectation (social role expectation)

Definition of Role Expectation

(noun) The way a role ought to be performed as determined by a group or society.

Example of Role Expectation

  • A university student is expected to complete assignments on time and come to class prepared.

Role Expectation Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: role ex·pec·ta·tion

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /rOHl ek-spek-tAY-shuhn/
  • British English – /rOHl ek-spek-tAY-shuhn/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /roʊl ˌɛkspɛkˈteɪʃən/
  • British English – /rəʊl ˌɛkspɛkˈteɪʃən/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: role expectations
  • The terms “role expectation” and “social role expectation” are used interchangeably in a sociological context.
  • Role expectation is contrasted to role performance.
  • Variant spelling: role-expectation

Related Quotation

Related Video

Additional Information

Related Terms


Strong, Bryan, Christine DeVault, and Theodore F. Cohen. 2011. The Marriage and Family Experience: Intimate Relationships in a Changing Society. 11th ed. Boston: Cengage Learning.

Works Consulted

Ferrante, Joan. 2011. Seeing Sociology: An Introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Kendall, Diana. 2011. Sociology in Our Times. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Kornblum, William. 2008. Sociology in a Changing World. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Cite the Definition of Role Expectation

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “role expectation.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 23, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/role-expectation/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

role expectation. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/role-expectation/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “role expectation.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 23, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/role-expectation/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“role expectation.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 23 Jun. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/role-expectation/>.