Sociology Index


A position, or status, within a social structure that is shaped by relatively precise behavioral expectations (norms). A role has been described as the active component of social status. The individual, placed within a status in a social structure, performs their role in a way shaped by normative expectations.

Individuals have varying ideas about normative standards and their own unique values. Role behavior is not standardized, however radical departure from expected role behavior will usually result in social sanctions.

An Examination of Functional Role Behavior and Its Consequences for Individuals in Group Settings - Peter E. Mudrack, Genevieve M. Farrell - Adult members of 68 ongoing small groups evaluated their peers' functional role behaviors (i.e., task, maintenance, individual) in classroom settings. These three role categories generally emerged from these group ratings and were interrelated as predicted.

Group members who played task roles also tended to play maintenance roles. Individual role behaviors were largely unrelated to task role adoption but were inversely associated with maintenance role behaviors. Perceptions of group cohesiveness were positively linked with both task and maintenance role activity but were lowest among individual role players.

Deviant gender role behavior, reviewed in this issue by Bakwin, presents the practicing pediatrician with an infrequent but generally difficult, frustrating clinical problem, difficult because so little is known about the genesis of such disorders and frustrating because the effectiveness of one's therapeutic efforts is so difficult to assess.

Chance, Time Allocation, and The Evolution of Adaptively Flexible Sex Role Behavior
Patricia Adair Gowaty and Stephen P. Hubbell
An alternative to classic sexual selection hypotheses for sex differentiated pre-mating behavior is that time available for mating along with fitness differences among alternative potential mates, induces choosy versus indiscriminate mating behavior. This alternative hypothesis says that selection has acted so that all individuals flexibly express fitness-enhancing choosy, indiscriminate, and competitive mating behavior, induced by time-varying life histories, environmental and social cues. Key predictions of DYNAMATE, the formal model of adaptively flexible sex role behavior of individuals of both sexes within dynamically changing populations.

The Relationship of Role-Related Variables to Job Satisfaction and Commitment to the Organization in a Restructured Hospital Environment - Rosalie B Lopopolo 
Background and Purpose. Many factors in today's hospitals can influence how physical therapists view their work experience. Changing roles, with the accompanying stress, and professionalism may contribute to a therapist's perception of his or her job and the organization in which he or she works. Through a survey of 273 hospital-based physical therapists, changes in physical therapist role behaviors, levels of stress, occupational commitment, job satisfaction, and commitment to the organization following restructuring were identified and examined. Results. Six role behavior dimensions reflecting professional and organizational responsibilities were identified from the data. After controlling for sample demographics, the professional role behaviors, specifically those reflecting interaction and integration with other practitioners, appeared to exert a small, but positive, influence on job satisfaction and commitment to the organization.

Understanding Extra-Role Behavior in Schools: The Relationships between Job Satisfaction, Sense of Efficacy, and Teachers' Extra-Role Behavior. Somech, Anit; Drach-Zahavy, Anat 
Abstract: Explored the construct of extra-role behavior in schools, examining relationships between extra-role behavior and job satisfaction, self-efficacy, and collective efficacy. Surveys of elementary teachers highlighted three facets of extra-role behavior corresponding to three levels of the school system (student, team, and organization). There were positive relations between job satisfaction and extra-role behavior at all three levels.