Social Roles - Social Roles. 1. An initial definition of a...

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Social Roles. 1. An initial definition of a role is that it represents the way that someone is expected to behave in a particular social situation. Roles, therefore, are the parts that we play in our relationships with others and this idea is similar to that of an actor playing a part in a play. Each individual plays many roles in society, some examples being: * Teacher, * Student, * Mother, * Son, * Employer, * Employee and so forth. 2. Each role (part that we play) has a number of associated characteristics. It involves: a. Norms of behaviour. A person playing the role of a student is expected to behave in a particular way (one that is different to a person playing the role of a teacher, for example). b. A group of other roles that relate specifically to the role we are playing. This is called a role-set and examples of the College student's role set might be: * Other students. * Your class teacher. * Other teachers. * College caretakers. * College Administration staff. * College librarians and so on. * The main reason for mentioning the idea of a role set is to impress on you the idea that we can only play a role in relation to other people. There would be little point, for example, of my trying to play the role of teacher if I had no students to teach. c. A status . Briefly, a status can be defined as "the level of respect we are expected to give to a person playing a particular role" and every role we play has an associated status . We can, for example, measure the status of a student against the status of a teacher. Alternatively, we could measure the status of a teacher against the status of The Queen. * Status is important in our society and the way that we feel about our status in relation to others will affect the way that we behave in certain situations. This is because status is closely related to the idea of power - the ability to get people to do things, regardless of their ability to resist (an idea we will develop at a later point). * A teacher, for example, may believe that their status is greater than that of their students; therefore, he or she might feel justified in:
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* Setting students work do outside their class. * Telling a noisy student to be quiet.
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2012 for the course SCIE SYG2000 taught by Professor Bernhardt during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Social Roles - Social Roles. 1. An initial definition of a...

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