Role conflict Essay
Beginning from the smallest unit of society, which is the family, everyone has already given his own roles as defined by their given specific status. The father of the family is expected to be the protector and breadwinner of the family. That role or responsibility is given or assign according to existing social norm (G. Elliot). I said so because there are societies that place the burden of breadwinning on the mother of the family, as with other Asian and African societies. A mother generally has the role of taking care of the house and the kids.
However, there are situations wherein role conflicts exist because of the fact that these members of the family are also members of other social groups, such as the academic, church and professional groups. Role conflicts arise when someone becomes a member of another group wherein their roles are somewhat different, or may also be exactly different with what they hold at home (T. Cravens). Role conflicts begin when someone starts wearing two hats (R. Brenner). Wearing two hats is a common representation of having more than one role.
One perfect and common example is the conflict of role of a family member and an employed individual. Let us use the example of a person who is a father in a family and as a supervisor in his job. As a father, his responsibilities are to work to earn money to provide for his family’s material needs. As a father, he has also the responsibility of supervising his children as with their discipline, their moral behaviors and miscellaneous things as socializing with his children after work or usually at weekends. As a father he has also the role of doing the heavy tasks at home.
Defined by his physical strength and courage, the father has generally the role of a protector of the family. At work, he has different set of roles, being a supervisor. As the supervisor, his role is to look over the general situation of his area of responsibility. HE has to roam around and look at the individual jobs of his subordinates, how they perform, are they on the right track, are they meeting deadlines, are they meeting the expected results of the job? His role is to make sure that everything is fine and if something goes wrong; his role is to do immediate and appropriate action.
He does all of this because these are what is expected of him by the company. At first glance, there seems to be no role conflict existing here. Conflict begins when time and attention between family and work overlaps. It happens when the father gets lesser time with his family at dinner and weekends due to longer working hours, series of work problems and added workload. The role of the father as a breadwinner can still be met in this situation. However, the moral, spiritual and social responsibilities of the father to his family can no more be met because of time.
As a supervisor, he is able to play his role well being a hardworking and dedicated employee, as what is expected of him. To reconcile the conflict, the father has to do some balancing of his time in order to play both roles. However, this is not really an easy task. This is true especially to those whose have two roles to consider and balance. Situation is worse with for example, a man who play as father to his family, a supervisor to his job and leader of a social or political organization, let say as a club officer. Prioritizing one or the other may not be the best solution to relieve the conflict.
In this case, the social groups and the society, especially the government has been playing a big role in diminishing role conflicts. The members of the family can adjust to situations like the one described above. The father can explain how difficult the situation is for him. The wife can always make herself adjust to the situation and let the children also understand the situation. Companies also are doing something to ease the situation. For example, there are companies who make longer working hours on weekdays in order enough to cover the eight working hours on weekends.
Thus, their workers can have time with their personal lives on Saturdays and Sundays. The government also has developed several programs to help those who have common role conflicts. One common example is distance learning, designed especially for those non-traditional students. Weekend and evening classes are also of great help. Such program gives mothers, working students and even professionals to avail of education without totally giving up their current roles. Churches also developed the system of having multiple schedules for mass or church activities in order to give the others the opportunity to join them.
Those who have regular working hours (daytime) can attend church activities at night and vice versa. Those who still work on Sundays can still attend to evening mass schedules. The government also provide for small enterprise and work-at-home trainings in order to give housewives the opportunity to help their husbands earn for the family or singles parents to raise their children. Thus, nothing is given up, but rather their roles are being balanced. WORKS CITED Brenner, Rick. “Who’s Doing You Job? ” Retrieved on June 10, 2007 from http://www. chacocanyon. com/essays/whosdoingyourjob. shtml Cravens, Tom.
“Status and Role” Retrieved on June 10, 2007 from http://www. tomcravens. com/index. html Elliot, Gregory. “Social Structure” Retrieved on June 10, 2007 from http://www. sociologyindex. com/social_structure. htm Wood, John Andy. “Interrelationships of role conflict, role ambiguity, and work-family conflict with different facets of job satisfaction and the moderating effects of gender” Retrieved on June 10, 2007 from http://www. allbusiness. com/sales/852943-1. html? yahss=114-2974554-852943 “Role Conflict” Retrieved on June 10, 2007 from http://www. webref. org/sociology/R/role_conflict. htm