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Encyclopedia of Social Problems

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Encyclopedia of Social Problems

Vincent N. Parrillo

Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Role Conflict

Barbara Feldman

Role conflict refers to a condition in which competing and incompatible normative expectations associated with the enactment of social statuses are imposed on an individual. The most noted, though not the only, condition under which this circumstance might occur is when an individual is required to enact simultaneously at least two roles, each of which has competing expectations. The results of such a condition may be psychological stress, role abandonment, or social change. Though experienced by individuals occupying certain roles, the causes of role conflict may exist at the individual or societal level. At an individual level, role conflict results from a particular set ...

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