In society, people spend much of their lives in groups. In groups, people hold various positions. Tied to these positions are roles, which refer to the expectations that guide people's attitudes and behavior. For example, on a college campus, there is the position of student. Tied to the student position are roles or sets of expectations, including learning new knowledge and skills, establishing an area of study, passing courses, acquiring a degree, and so forth, that define what it means to be a student. We learn expectations tied to different positions in society from others, such as our parents, peers, educators, and the media. In general, if we have information about the roles people occupy in a situation, we are in a good position to ...

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