Can you think of any examples of role conflict that you have experienced?
1. Can you think of any examples of role conflict that you have experienced?
Now that you know what a status is, a role consists of the behaviour expected of someone who holds a particular status. Based on the different statuses you hold, you may have a number of different roles. For example, the behaviour expected of you (role) as a student or employee (status) differs. Role set refers to a number of roles attached to a single status. For example, there are many roles attached to the status of a professor: instructor, researcher, advisor, colleague, writer, etc. Within a particular status, we behave in different ways depending on the context and who we are interacting with. Roles are relational; they are defined in the context of roles performed by others. For example, you are a student because someone else is a professor, in order for someone to fulfil the role of professor there must be one or more students (Murray, Linden, & Kendall, 2012).
Role Conflict and Role Strain
Most people occupy a number of status with different exptations attached. Role conflict refers to conflict among the roles corresponding to two or more statuses. Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to study for an exam (student status) but you had to work (employee status). Perhaps you have had to take time off from work (employee status) to care for a sick child (parent status). These are examples of role conflict: role conflict results from holding two or more conflicting statuses. One typcially has to make a choice in this situation about which role to perform at that time. Role strain on the other hand refers to tension among the roles connected to a single status. So there are different expectations and demands attached to one status that a person is not able to achieve. You may have experienced role strain as a student when you have different assignments due and exams to write on the same day (Macionis, Jansson, Benoit, & Burkowicz, 2017).