Social Roles & Social Interaction

Among the many topics related to social interaction that Macionis (Chapter 4) and Berger (Chapter 5) discuss, the importance of social roles is a compelling topic. The impression one might get at first in studying the variety of socially assigned, socially defined, and socially formed aspects of behavior is that a great anonymous social pressure weighs inevitably down on the individual. The study of the significance of role as a component of social interaction, however, reminds the reader that society consists of individuals, and even the traditions regarding values and norms of behavior that are carried forward were constructed by individuals. The implication of this is that people must somehow, always and everywhere, construct these roles. Role is defined by Macionis as "behavior expected of someone who holds a particular status" (87) and by Berger as a "typ



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