Family Structure: Some Theoretical Concepts
I don't go no place.
You have no right to sit at home.
Role segmentation is a central characteristic of modern society: no two people share the same social space at all times, and no one person is familiar with all the social spaces any other person occupies during the day. A person's place of work may be unfamiliar to spouse and children, and activities in voluntary associations differ among family members. Even persons who relate intimately to one another are not together during many of their activities.
Individuals with highly segmented role-sets have different social roles that usually do not overlap. The spatial separation of different activity systems- work, family, and voluntary associations, for example--helps maintain their social separateness. In their various status positions, people have different role partners, with each set of role partners remaining somewhat distinct from the other. When moving from one status to another, a person must make mental and behavioral adjustments to the new role partners.
Not only do individuals play multiple social roles that are distinct from one another, but each role also entails different types of relationships. In a professional role a school teacher relates to other teachers, to the principal, and to students, along with other people with whom interaction is less frequent, such as parents or the superintendent of schools. All these relationships together constitute the teacher's role-set. They have both common and different expectations of the status holder, some of which may be incompatible or conflict in their demands for allegiance ( Merton 1968). Family matters claim priority from the professional woman, yet professional associates expect her not to be disturbed by