Role vs Function
We all play different roles at different times in our lives. A person is a husband and father at home, a neighbor and a friend when he walks out of his house and a manager to his employees in his workplace. When he goes to his bank, he is an esteemed customer, and he is in the role of landlord when he goes to collect rent of his property. Thus it is clear that in every role, a person has a different set of functions to perform and his behavior and attitude reflect a change in every role. Though there are similarities between role and function, there are differences that will be highlighted in this article.
For example, take the role of a teacher. If a person is a teacher at a school, he has a position that demands an expected social behavior and the person automatically changes his behavior and attitude from that of a husband or a father when he is in school. He has certain rights and obligations along with a set of functions that he needs to perform in his role as a teacher such as teaching, motivating, disciplining, punishing, encouraging and sharing information with students.
If a person is in the role of an entertainer, he is expected to perform functions that will entertain the spectators or audiences rather than engaging in a sermon or preaching them which is obviously the function of a priest or a Father in a Church. There are some roles that are pre-decided by nature and persons in those roles have to perform the functions associated with those roles such as the role of a mother. Only a woman can give birth to a child and only she can feed him. These are functions that are almost automatic and no one teaches a woman or prepares her for these functions. But for roles that one has to play in real life, especially in workplaces, there are schools and colleges to prepare individuals to carry out associated functions efficiently and effectively.
There are different roles allotted to different people, which is how the society works. We cannot perform all the roles on our own and have to take help of others to live lives smoothly.
Difference between Role and Function
• Every person has multiple roles to play in life and every role entails different set of functions and responsibilities.
• The role of a manager in an organization has different functions than a teacher at a school.
• Role is a position that one gets by its virtue whereas function is the performance that a role entails.