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Social-Role Theory

 

Explanations > Theories > Social-Role Theory

Description | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

This is the principle that men and women behave differently in social situations and take different roles, due to the expectations that society puts upon them (including gender stereotyping). This includes women taking positions of lower power, meeting ‘glass ceilings’, having home-making roles, etc.

Three common patterns are:

(a) Women take on more domestic tasks

(b) Women and men often have different occupational roles.

(c) In occupations, women often have lower status

Example

Even though we are well-educated, my wife cooks and cleans and I do DIY and develop websites.

So what?

Using it

In any situation, see the real (as opposed to espoused) social roles and either play to them or use them to your advantage (eg. offering women a way out of disliked repression).

Defending

There is a lot of information about gender bias (and other forms of bias) available on the web and elsewhere. Know your rights and defend them. 

See also

Stereotypes

References

Eagly (1987)

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