The concept of role began to be used in sociology in the 1920s and 1930s. The word derives from the French role, a scroll used by actors of the time to read their lines. For social psychology , we are all actors who must play a certain role throughout our lives , according to the role chosen or granted, it will be the behavior of each individual.
The role is defined as the collection of expectations that accompany a particular social position. Each individual plays multiple roles throughout his life; These roles will depend on the different cultural, social contexts or on the different people with whom the subject deals, for example: a subject could be a student, a child, a friend and an employee in turn, but according to the person which is directed will depend on the role it will occupy
According to psychologists specialized in the social area, they affirm that the subject’s social and physical environment exerts a profound influence on their thoughts and behavior.
The roles can vary from specific – they only apply to a certain configuration – to diffuse – they apply in a certain range of situations.
How do the roles work?
Role theory analyzes how roles influence a wide range of psychological outcomes, including behavior, attitudes, thinking, and social interaction. Usually the role that the individual occupies in society is one of the causes of his psychological behavior.
One of the internal functions that causes the categorization of roles is that the aspects of a role can be internalized in the self-concept -by self-concept we refer to what the individual thinks about himself-, for example, an individual who presents repeated experiences around Competition against other people can lead you to see yourself as a “competitive” person. The same happens if a person for different reasons has been involved in situations where the other requires their help, in this case the subject could identify himself as “supportive.”
The role is a determining factor in the formation of the identity of the subject. In fact, identity transformations frequently occur when people enter or leave roles – for example, starting college, starting a new job, getting married, starting a new relationship, or having children, represent some of these role identity changes.
The roles according to Pichón Riviere
Pichón Riviere, in his theory of groups, clearly differentiates different roles, which the members of the different groups either assume or assign to them. For Riviere, roles are an organized model of behavior, relative to a certain position of the individual in a network of interactions linked to his own expectations and those of others ».
First it makes a distinction between roles:
- Socially prescribed: for example, the role of mother, father, grandfather, etc.
- Assigned: they are given through adjudication and assumption mechanisms. It is here that we differentiate:
- Spokesperson: State the anxieties , needs, and illnesses that move the group.
- Emissary Goat: Takes care of the negative aspects of the group.
- Leader: Focuses on the task and leads the group . The other members of the group deposit their positive aspects in him.
- Saboteur: He is the leader of the resistance to change. Make the task difficult and refuse to change.
In a stereotyped group, role mobility is low. Therefore, the roles have to vary from member to member, taking into account the health and plasticity of the group.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.