Role Playing, Reflexive Role-Taking, Role Strain, Role Distancing
Sociological role theory includes categories of social roles like cultural roles
and gender roles. Situation-specific roles develop ad hoc
in a given social situation.
According to role theory, role conflict occurs when a person is expected to
simultaneously act out multiple roles that carry contradictory expectations.
The Gender Role Theory suggests that women's lesser involvement in crime
can be attributed to their socialization into traditional
roles within the family and in society.
According to role theory, people take distinct positions in groups they form.
These positions are roles, with a set of functions that are molded by the expectations of
These expectations become norms when enough people feel
comfortable in providing punishments and rewards for the expected behavior. People conform
to their roles anticipating rewards and punishments inspire this conformity.
In role theory behavior is influenced by the norms which determine a social
situation, internal and external expectations are connected to a social role and social
sanctions and rewards are used to influence role behaviour.
Revisiting Role Theory: A Sociocognitive Perspective -
Presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.
Abstract: This paper links role theory with research on social cognition. In this way, I
revisit the old Parsonian problem of multiple orientations to action, basing it on a more
up to date psychology. By treating the cognitive and behavioral aspects of role
performance as equally weighted realms of experience, I present a model to explore the
ways social actors balance, overlap, and switch
between multiple roles. Four ideal-typical states of role-being are
identified: single focus, behavioral prevalence, cognitive prevalence, and multi-focus.
Proposed are three separate strategies migration, emigration, and relocation
as ways that actors travel among states of role being. This approach invites full
consideration into the largely unexplored conditions of simultaneous salience and role
switching, setting the stage for future research into sociocognitive role playing
Students First Mentoring Project: Using Role-theory to Improve Low-income,
First Generation Student Retention - Collier, Peter. and Morgan, David. - Paper
presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.
Abstract: The Students First Mentoring Program (SFMP) is a U.S. Department of
Educations Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE)-funded
intervention to improve retention of low-income, first-generation students at Portland
State University. Combining best practices from already established programs such as
Student Support Services and Educational Opportunity Program with theoretical concepts
from role theory, this program offers a wide range of support services for
first-generation college students designed to make the shift to college life less
difficult and, in the process, improve student retention rates. In this paper we present a
brief over-view of the SFMP, examine the literature on student retention and role mastery,
present a conceptual model the two path model of student academic performance at
college, and discuss three specific program elements that are drawn from role theory
Revisiting Role Theory: Roles and the Problem of the Self
Sociological Research Online
Abstract: This paper looks at some of the major texts in the history of role theory. The
question that is asked is whether any of these works have been able to theorize the self
adequately. It is suggested that neither Parsons nor Merton has any place for the self in
their respective theories. While Goffman does make a space for the self, it is only a
negative space. Even ethnomethodological theory cannot imagine a role player capable of
self-expression. It is argued that a solution to the problem of how to conceive of self
and role can be developed from some ideas present in the work of the philosopher Lawrence
Blum. The concept of self as identity that can be extracted from his work can allow social
theory to imagine actors who are simultaneously expressing their selves and fulfilling
their roles. Affinities between this idea and some key concepts in theories of both (Alan)
Blum and Peter McHugh and Charles Taylor are suggested.
Using role theory in monitoring web group learning systems
Gwo-Dong Chen Chin-Yeh Wang Kuo-Liang Ou Baw-Jhiune Liu
Inst. of Comput. Sci. & Inf. Eng., Nat. Central Univ., Chung-li, Taiwan;
Abstract: Role theory has been proposed to explain group teamwork. Thus, it may also be
valid to explain group learning performance. However, teachers in both conventional
classrooms and web learning systems find it difficult to figure out what role a student
played in a group and what relationship exists between roles and group performance. In a
web learning system, interactions among group members can be recorded in a database.
Computer tools can be developed to do the tasks for teachers. In this paper we develop a
tool to capture the roles that a student plays in her/his learning group. Then, tools
using machine learning techniques are built to find the relationship between existence of
roles and group performance. A tool was then built to predict the group performance based
on the relationship captured. An experimental result is shown that demonstrates that role
theory is effective to predict group performance.
A Review of Educational Role Theory: A Teaching Guide for Administrative Theory.
Clouse, R. Wilburn
Abstract: This document examines role theory limited to the major studies related to
educational administrators. The nature and history of role theory are reviewed and three
theoretical approaches to the study of role theory are described: (1) role conflict
resolution theory; (2) role theory related to social systems theory; and (3) the
Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation Theory of interpersonal behavior. Three
empirical role theory studies related to educational administration are the School Board
Executive Studies Program, the National Principalship Study, and the Role Conflict
Resolution Behavior Study of High School Principals. Finally, conclusions are drawn about
the methods used in role theory studies. (37 references) (SI)