Role set

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A role set is anyone you have a recurring relationship with in your role. According to Goffman the "role set" is the various kinds of relevant audiences for a particular role.[1] Merton describes "role set" as the "complement of social relationships in which persons are involved because they occupy a particular social status."[2] For instance, the role of a doctor has a role set comprising colleagues, nurses, patients, hospital administrators, etc.

The term "role set" was coined by Robert K. Merton in 1957. He made a clear distinction between a "role set" and a "status set".[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Erving Goffman (1961). Encounters. Bobbs-Merrill. 
  2. ^ Robert K. Merton (1968). Social theory and social structure. Free Press. 
  3. ^ Robert K. Merton "On social structure and science" ISBN 0-226-52071-4, page 113