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Keywords:

  • role;
  • role theory;
  • cognition;
  • and social cognition

ABSTRACT

In our dynamic social world, a premium is placed on the individual's ability to innovate and to change (Giddens 1984; Sewell 1992; Simmel 1955). Yet traditional role theory has difficulty accounting for innovation, leaving unanswered the question of how individual level negotiations affect social-structural processes (see Callero 1994). This study addresses this tension by linking role theory with social cognition. By positioning behavior and cognition as two interrelated continuums, I stretch the meaning of role enactment to include 4 role typologies. I utilize these typologies as a heuristic to chart the processes through which individuals adapt to and affect a role performance over time. I conclude by outlining how sociocognitive role typologies aid social researchers in accounting for individual efficacy in response to social-structural situations.