Role Theory

Powerful Essays
Topics: Sociology
Understanding Intimate Partner Violence through Role Theory:
A Concept Paper

Introducing Role Theory

Role theory is a sociological framework that has been used to explain sets of relational patterns between people across varying contexts. It seeks to explain one of the most important characteristics of human social behavior – the fact that how people act, behave and speak are not separate, unique, disconnected but rather, are reflective of certain patterns and arrangements that depend on the social context and the actors in these contexts (Mangus, 1957; Biddle, 1986). To illustrate, within the context of an intimate relationship such as marriage, violence between partners can be tied to the particular patterns and arrangements of acting, behaving and speaking between partners – such as earning money, rearing children, taking care of the home and initiating sexual relations. Although several versions of the theory have been explicated by scholars, there appears to be agreement that role theory is mainly about three interrelated concepts: (1) patterned and characteristic social behaviors, (2) parts or identities as assumed by social participants, and (3) scripts or expectations for behavior that are understood and followed by actors in a particular social context (Biddle, 1986). For instance, adopting a role theory perspective to understanding intimate partner violence necessitates looking at the patterned and characteristic social behaviors of intimate partners in a relationship, the parts or identities that each partner plays in the relationship, and the scripts or expectations that are interpreted and adhered to by the partners in a particular relational context, specifically in situations of violent encounters. Furthermore, the theory also allows for an understanding of the relationships among the individual, collective and structural levels of society (Turner, 2001), as it deals with the organization and connection of social behavior between the



References: Biddle, B. J. (1986). Recent developments in role theory. Annual Review of Sociology, 12, 67-92. Brookes, K., Davidson, P. M., Daly, J., & Halcomb, E. J. (2007). Role theory: A framework to investigate the community nurse role in contemporary health care systems. Contemporary Nurse: A Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession, 25 (1-2), 146-155. Callero, P.L. (1994). From role-playing to role-using: Understanding role as resource. Social Psychology Quarterly, 57 (3), 228-243. Ellington, J. E. & Marshall, L. L. (1997). Gender role perceptions of women in abusive relationships. Sex Roles, 36 (5/6), 349-369. Fox, G. L. & Murry, V. M. (2000). Gender and families: Feminist perspectives and family research. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62, 1160-1172. Lynch, K. D. (2007). Modeling role enactment: Linking role theory and social cognition. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 37 (4), 379-399. Mangus, A. R. (1957). Role theory and marriage counseling. Social Forces, 35 (3), 200-209. Mihalic, S. W. & Elliot, D. (1997). A social learning theory model of violence. Journal of Family Violence, 12 (1), 21-47. Stryker, S. (2001). Traditional symbolic interactionism, role theory and structural symbolic interactionism: The Road to Identity Theory. In J. H. Turner (ed.), Handbook of Sociological Theory (pp. 211-230). Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York. Thomas, E.J. & Biddle, B.J. (1966). Basic concepts for the variables of role phenomena. In B.J. Biddle & E.J. Thomas (Eds.), Role theory: concepts and research (pp. 51-65). New York: John Wiley & Sons. Turner, R.H. (2001). Role theory. In J. H. Turner (ed.), Handbook of Sociological Theory (pp. 233-254). Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Role Theory

    • 10683 Words
    • 43 Pages

    Recent Development in Role Theory Author(s): B. J. Biddle Reviewed work(s): Source: Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 12 (1986), pp. 67-92 Published by: Annual Reviews Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2083195 . Accessed: 09/10/2012 22:18 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover…

    • 10683 Words
    • 43 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Social Role Theory

    • 1295 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Social Role Theory And How It Relates To Women Athleticism The conflict and feminists believe that stereotyping athletes will increase misrepresentation of social realty. Stereotypes are unreliable generalizations about all members of a group that do not recognize individual differences within the group (Schaefer, 2006).An example of this is how many women are portrayed as baseball greats, even though women and young girls play baseball. Baseball is considered a “man’s sport.” These generalizations…

    • 1295 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Weitz and the Role of Theory in Aesthetics In the past, the main goal of aesthetics has been to formulate a definition of art. A definition is a statement of the necessary and sufficient properties of what is being defined. This statement has to prove its purpose of giving a true or false claim about the nature, or essence of art and what characterizes it from anything else. Many theorists sustain that unless we know what art is, we cannot begin to respond to it adequately or to say…

    • 1223 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Explain the role theory and neodissociative theory views of hypnosis Abstract In this paper one will find out some of the theories on hypnosis. These theories would include the role theory and the neodissociative theory. They both explain how hypnosis may work and what its effects are on people. Also how we react to hypnosis. In addition to that they explain what hypnosis is. Explain the role theory and neodissociative theory views of hypnosis There are many theories that explain the views of…

    • 625 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    One of the theories that is used based on the movie is the role theory. Role theory is refers to the individuals impress upon themselves personal and social expectations related to the myriad roles that they might hold (e.g., employee, parent, caretaker). Each social role is a set of rights, duties, expectations, norms and behaviours that a person has to face and fulfill everyday. In other words, an individual’s life is comprised of various roles across all work and life domains. However, the capacity…

    • 376 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Social Role Theory and Role Strain in Parenthood Rita Bisaro Lewis Clark State College Social Role Theory and Role Strain in Parenthood Key Components One of the many theories in history is social role theory suggested by both Orville Brim and Talcott Parsons (Newman and Newman, 2012). Both sociologists believed socialization and personality development was the result of participation (Newman and Newman, 2012) in social roles they had in life, and they defined those roles as behaviors that…

    • 2134 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    BELBINS THEORY ON TEAM ROLES What the author has learned from belbins team roles? That belbins team roles theory is used to identify behavioral strengths and weaknesses in team. According to the author if a team is successful in doing that delegation of task becomes really easy as they already know whose good at what and how the team can compensate for individual members weaknesses. The information can also be used for: Build productive working relationships Select and develop high-performing…

    • 672 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Intimacy-versus-isolation stage 3.) According to Erikson, the focus of a person’s early 30’s is __________ (pg. 481) Developing close relationships with others 4.) The theory that relationships proceed in a fixed order of three stages: stimulus, value, and role is called_______________ (pg. 482) Stimulus-valve-role (SVR) theory…

    • 662 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Stimulus-Value-Role Theory has three stages of development. Stimulus, the first stage, is the evaluation of the physical attractiveness of prospective partners. The first impression towards a person is determined by the physical features, such as appearance and social qualities. If both individuals are pleased with each other's unspiritual characteristics, they might enter into the next stage. What is significant in the second stage, Value, is the mutual understanding between two persons. In…

    • 508 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Wolf Wolfensberger's theory of Social Role Valorization (SRV) is extremely interesting in how it talks about the concept of wounding. When thinking outside of SRV, wounding means hurting something through physical force; but in terms of SRV, wounding means hurting someone's psyche and emotions. Wounding in context of SRV talks about harming people mentally, physically, and emotionally, which is different from how we usually think of wounding in our everyday lives. In Wolfensberger's book, "A Brief…

    • 606 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays