The term role model generally means any "person who serves as an example, whose behaviour is emulated by others".
The term first appeared in Robert K. Merton's socialization research of medical students. Merton hypothesized that individuals compare themselves with reference groups of people who occupy the social role to which the individual aspires.
According to a survey of teachers in the United Kingdom conducted in 2008 by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, young people most frequently chose sports stars as role models, followed by pop stars. Many, however, simply aspired to be "famous for being famous", believing that fame and fortune could be easily accessed through reality television.
- "Role model". Wiktionary. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
- Gerald Holton (4 December 2004). "Robert K. Merton - Biographical Memoirs" (PDF). Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 148 (4): 506–517. Archived from the original on 2007-08-11. Retrieved 2007-08-07. "He developed a theory of the reference group (i.e., the group to which individuals compare themselves, which is not necessarily a group to which those individuals belong), and elaborated on the concepts of in-group and out-group."
- "The Beckhams are the celebrities most children aspire to be, as celebrity culture increases its influence, says ATL". Association of Teachers and Lecturers. 14 March 2008. Retrieved February 21, 2011.
- What is a Role Model? Five Qualities that Matter to Young People
- PinkStinks "The Campaign for Real Role Models"
-  "A Role Model: inspiring greatness in individuals"
|This sociology-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|