Social Roles

Social roles are the part people play as members of a social group. With each social role you adopt, your behaviour changes to fit the expectations both you and others have of that role.

In the words of William Shakespeare:

“All the worlds a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have there exits, and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts”

These lines capture the essence of social roles. Think of how many roles you play in a single day, e.g. son, daughter, sister, brother, students, worker, friend etc. Each social role carries expected behaviours called norms.

Social Roles are underestimated. Most of us have social roles that we take for granted such as collecting the neighbour’s newspaper or calling in to an elderly neighbour to see if they are ok. Supporting people with an intellectual disability to take on such roles encourages society to see the person as “the person who collects Mrs. Bloggs newspaper” as opposed to just “the person with an Intellectual Disability”…

Historically, people that experience an intellectual disability are socially devalued. The Brothers of Charity Services encourage individuals, their families and supports to assist people to develop their social roles.

Social Roles are and should be accessible to all…

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