The major description of the concepts of status and role as is used in the social sciences was developed by Ralp Linton in his work The Study of Man published in 1936.

Status is used to refer to a position in society which a person holds. The term may be used to refer to all of the different statuses which an individual has such as...Father...Husband...Brother... Son...Banker...etc. In all cultures individual members of the societywill hold many different statuses.

Role is used to refer to the behavior pattern which is associated with a particular status. Each status has its own pattern of behavior which a person occupying that particular status will follow. As a result of the number of statuses which an individual in a society holds, any individual will be "playing" a number of different roles.

Ideal Role is used to refer to a society's concept of what "perfect" behavior should be for a given status.

Actual Role refers to the behavior which a person displays in playing the role associated with a given status as modified by that person...people do not live up to the behavior which is found in the ideal role for a status.

Role conflict is the situation which develops as a result of the behavior patterns of two roles being played by the same person conflicting with one another.

Role expectations are the ways of behaving that society (or an individual) says is correct for a given status.

Role Performance is a person functioning in a role or "Playing the Role"

Role Model- an individual whose behavior in a given role serves to provide an example or standard used by another individual to develop his/her behavior in performing that same role.

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