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role model (social role model)

Definition of Role Model

(noun) Someone that an individual patterns their behavior after for a particular role.

Examples of Role Model

Role Model Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: role mod·el

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /rOHl mAHd-l/
  • British English – /rOHl mOdl/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /roʊl ˈmɑdəl/
  • British English – /rəʊl ˈmɒdl/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: role models
  • The terms “role model” and “social role model” are used interchangeably in a sociological context.
  • A role model does not have to be personally known, it can be a celebrity, historical figure, or politician.
  • A type of significant other.
  • Variant spellings:
    • role-model
    • rolemodel

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Additional Information

Related Terms

Works Consulted

Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein. 2010. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. 2nd ed. New York: Norton.

Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).

Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Cite the Definition of Role Model

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “role model.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 18, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/role-model/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

role model. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/role-model/

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

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “role model.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 18, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/role-model/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“role model.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 18 Jun. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/role-model/>.