Toward a theory of role acquisition

Sociological Theory 2:315-328 (1984)
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Abstract

In attempting to learn more about the relationship between social structure and behavior, this chapter identifies the transforming conditions that promote an actor's acquisition of a noninstitutionalized role. The role concept is modified to be seen not only as an aspect of social structure, but connected to the life situation of a performer, constituting a person-role formula. Being defined according to the degree of involvement an actor will have with the proffered role, a person-role formula may be based on embracement, integration, downgrading, or avoidance. Roles are transformed into one of these possible relationships through three stages (1) role discrepancy, (2) role typification, and (3) role validation

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