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Toward a Theory of Role Accumulation

Sam D. Sieber
American Sociological Review
Vol. 39, No. 4 (Aug., 1974), pp. 567-578
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2094422
Page Count: 12
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Toward a Theory of Role Accumulation
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Abstract

The assumption that multiplicity of roles produces a strong tendency toward role strain as a consequence of role conflict or role overload is disputed. The benefits of role accumulation tend to outweigh any stress to which it might give rise, thereby yielding net gratification. Four types of rewards derived from role accumulation are discussed: role-privileges; overall status security; resources for status enhancement and role performance; and enrichment of the personality and ego gratification. The importance of taking rights more fully into account in research and theory is emphasized. The possibility that barriers to role accumulation are a source of social instability is briefly assayed.

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