Home > R Words > role reversal (social role reversal)

role reversal (social role reversal)

Definition of Role Reversal

(noun) A situation in which people switch roles to perform the role of a role partner.

Examples of Role Reversal

  • An elderly parent is taken care of by their child.
  • A student starts to teach classes.

Role Reversal Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: role re·ver·sal

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /roʊl rɪˈvɜrsəl/
  • British English – /rəʊl rɪˈvɜːsəl/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: role reversals
  • The terms “role reversal” and “social role reversal” are used interchangeably in a sociological context.
  • Variant spelling: role-reversal

Additional Information

Related Terms


Cite the Definition of Role Reversal

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “role reversal.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved December 13, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/role-reversal/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

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

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

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “role reversal.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed December 13, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/role-reversal/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“role reversal.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 13 Dec. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/role-reversal/>.