Role Change
A Resocialization Perspective
by Melvyn L. Fein
February 1990, 212pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-275-93358-6
$84, £63, 70€, A120

Role Change: A Resocialization Perspective is a comprehensive introduction to role change theory and the first volume to systematically apply resocialization concepts to problem solving. Based on the premise that most personal problems are actually role problems best corrected by role change, this volume thoroughly explores the nature of role dysfunction. Focus is placed on how social coercion generates unsatisfying roles; how role conservation mechanism prevent easy change; and how role loss mechanisms– similar to those found in mourning–must be set in motion for change to occur. Sociologists, social workers, and psychologists will find this application of sociological insights to clinical practice to be of particular interest.

What is the resocialization perspective? Melvyn Fein explains that many dysfunctional roles cannot be corrected unless they are first relinquished and then replaced with more satisfying behavior patterns. This process entails changing a person’s role scripts, including their cognitive, emotional, volitional, and social dimensions. The theory views people not as isolated creatures, but as part of a rich tapestry of human interactions. It sees them as morally responsible creatures who cannot change their basic patterns of living, except through interaction with others. Role Change is essential reading for all those concerned with why people become unhappy, why they often seem trapped in their personal misery, and how professionals can help them negotiate more satisfying lives.

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