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10 24Soc_Roles


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  • 1. Elements of Social Structure: statuses social roles groups social networks social institutions
  • 2. def. “role”:
    • A social role is a pattern of
    • expected behavior.
  • 3. Role Theory is based on the following assumptions:
    • People spend much of their lives in groups .
    • Within these groups, people often take over distinct functions and occupy discernible positions .
    • With specific functions and specific positions come specific expectations for behavior ; regular pattern of such expectations can be called roles .
    • People are generally conformists: we learn to conform to roles.
    • The anticipation of rewards and punishments inspire this conformity.
  • 4. Our school — social roles student teacher administrator staff parent
  • 5. Our school — social roles teacher administrator staff parent
    • student — role differentiations:
    • the willing learner
    • the hard worker
    • the challenging rebel
    • the obedient follower
  • 6. Our school — social roles student
    • the role of teacher — differentiations:
    • experienced vs. new teacher
    • strict teacher, mean teacher, soft teacher
    administrator staff parent
  • 7. How do we know the roles?
  • 8. How do we know what is expected from us in specific roles? How do we know what to expect from others?
  • 9. Socialization.
    • George Herbert Mead:
    • preparatory stage
      • children start to imitate adults and other children, which prepares them for playing roles
    • play stage
      • child takes on someone else’s role
    • game stage
      • child plays a role and takes into account that co-players are also playing roles
  • 10. Socialization into roles:
    • For each role, we learn
    • norms of expected behavior
    • sanctions (positive and negative) that we may expect when we fill out or fail to fill out a role (i.e., conform to or break a norm), and that we dole out when someone else does or does not do what we expect them to do in their role.
  • 11. Socialization into roles:
    • For many roles, we also learn to
    • adapt our language , and
    • associate the role with specific values .
    • (e.g., while I play the role of customer on a market, I’m driven by values that differ from those that guide my behavior as a friend, or as a husband, or as a father, or as a teacher.)
  • 12. Role Conflict
    • Whereas for the most part, we are highly skilled at juggling different roles and switching from one role to the other,
    • we sometimes get into situations where we are assigned two (or more) different roles at once —
    • and sometimes, these roles may contain contradictory expectations.
  • 13. The Social Construction of Reality
    • Again: where do all the scripts for all those “roles” exist?
    • Where do all these sets of expectations reside?
    • Where do we find all those norms?
  • 14. The Social Construction of Reality
    • Where do all the scripts for all those “roles” exist?
    • Where do all these sets of expectations reside?
    • Where do we find all those norms?
    • In people’s minds .
    • And they all depend on people’s individual perspectives .