The specific behavioral repertory of differentiated individuals in a social system.
Roles are constructed through conditioning, training and learning within the individuals. This process is transgenerational and is needed to maintain the continuity through time of the social system (time-binding).
Any society needs a variety of different roles in order to fulfill the various functions needed for its survival. In very complex human systems, roles become evermore differentiated.
Any individual or element has generally a variety of roles in her/his/its society or system, each one related to some specific situation or circumstances. As observed by F.K. BERRIEN, "role behavior" (output), is generally "a response to the role expectations by others (their outputs serving as inputs to the behaver)"(1968, p.106).
Roles can be modified even in insect societies (see: Sociotomy). In human systems, the repertory itself, that corresponds with a specific role, can be modified in an adaptive way. Moreover, any individual adopts normally a succession of different roles during her/his/its lifetime.
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To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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