Example: A person in a parental role is expected to feed and protect their child from harm.
Audio Pronunciation: (role)
Download Audio Pronunciation: role.mp3
- Plural: roles
- The terms role and social role are used interchangeably in a sociological context.
- An individual simultaneously occupies multiple roles.
- Roles are complementary, dynamic, and relational.
- The distinction between a role and status is a role is what you “do” and a status is what you “are.” Being provider for a child is a role, being a parent is a status.
- Role used in a sentence: Students need to take an active role in their education.
- “Sociologists have taken the notion of role from the theater. Actors perform their roles in accordance with a script (analogous to culture), what the other actors say and do, and the reactions of the audience. But the theater analogy has its weaknesses. Unlike actors, we are seldom conscious of ‘acting’ according to a script as we go about our daily activities. and in life we must do a great deal of improvising, continually testing and changing our actions in accordance with the behavior of other people” (Hughes and Kroehler 2008:58-59).
- Role Theory Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “role” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- role conflict
- role distancing
- role exit
- role expectation
- role performance
- role reversal
- role segregation
- role set
- role strain
- role taking
- role theory
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How to Cite the Definition of Role
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “role.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved March 22, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/role/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
role. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/role/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “role.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed March 22, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/role/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“role.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 22 Mar. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/role/>.