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Social Roles and the Impact of Institutions - Essay Example

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Social Roles and the Impact of Institutions: A Photo Essay
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This paper discusses the concept of social roles and how they are shaped by social institutions. …
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Social Roles and the Impact of Institutions
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Social Roles and the Impact of Institutions

Download file to see previous pages... Some of the aspects discussed include the socialising role of institutions, the relationship between theatrical performance and social performance and the impact of changing goals and expectations on social role behaviour. The findings are applied to the working of organisations and their peculiar management challenges. Key Idea and Theory The key idea or theory discussed in this paper relates to social roles and how they are created through institutions. The function played by social roles in the creation of individual and collective identities is also an important aspect of this paper. As Lopata (1995, p. 1) explains, social roles are determined by the status of an individual in society. The social role is enacted by the individual in order to gain access to the rights conferred on the particular status as well as to discharge the duties and responsibilities of the particular status. Social roles are determined to a large extent by the institutions to which an individual becomes a member (Turner & Rosenberg, 2004). The family or the school is an institution where the same individual may perform different roles. An individual may assume the role of a son or a daughter in the family institution but assume a different role of a student at school. Social roles define the actions and behaviours that individuals can perform without drawing criticism or condemnation from other individuals in the society. At the same time, social roles also prohibit the individual from demonstrating certain actions that are not seen to be equivalent to their social status. For instance, inter-caste marriage is viewed with disapproval in some parts of India because individuals belonging to different castes are afforded different statuses and part of their social role is to maintain the purity of their caste. Social institutions regulate individuals’ actions and socialise them to perform their social roles efficiently. These institutions identify gender roles, e.g. boys are to help the father in the trade while girls are to help the mother in the household chores. Institutions also shape the individual and collective identity of individuals over time as the individuals become committed to the institutions and look up to them for role clarity and definition. Analysis of Aspects of Life Photo 1: At the park This photograph was taken in the year 2000 and shows me playing on a playground gym with some other children who are older to me. This photo is important to me because it depicts one of my most enjoyable periods of life as well as some of the incidents that produce anxiety. The picture demonstrates the norms of the playground and the lessons it can teach young children about their appropriate behaviour and actions towards each other. As it can be seen in the photograph, all the children are taking turns at the gym without getting into any fights. For instance, I am following the boy in front of me while another boy behind me is waiting for his turn. Another boy looks on from the side of the gym without getting engaged in the play. This turn-taking is inculcated in the children and can help them to become responsible and mature citizens of society. In this way, the playground or family park serves as an institution with its own norms that guide a young child about how to act as a good player and respect other children around them. It also teaches them how to share limited resources and treat other people equally and fairly. As the playground is not a formal institution in the way a school or hospital is, the norms are generally unwritten and are expressed by the parents as they admonish their children to let others also play with the rides and to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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