Training idea #1

The role communicators give us a good and practical tool to analyze, evaluate and plan for (valued) social roles. What are the role communicators?

• physical setting

• personal presentation and appearance

• social juxtapositions, associations and groupings with other people

• activities, schedules, routines, use of time, rhythms

• language, program and agency logos

• miscellaneous other media and imagery

(NB: the above media are taught about more fully in multi-day SRV workshops; also see pp. 64-69 of the 2004 3rd rev. ed. of the SRV monograph authored by Dr. Wolfensberger)

Looking at the role communicators over time can help us to identify what particular role(s) a certain person has. Thinking about how to structure and take advantage of the role communicators can help us to support a socially devalued person to take on a new valued role or to shore up someone in a valued role that they already have. Changing the role communicators can also help to ‘spring’ someone from a devalued role.

We can help service workers and others learn about the role communicators in general before thinking about them particularly in terms of socially devalued people. One way we might do this is by watching easily available video clips and looking for examples of the role communicators, while trying to identify what particular social roles they point to (e.g., client, menace, patient, student, neighbor, worker, regular customer, etc.).

You could write the names of the role communicators up on a flip chart or project them and have people write down examples they see or shout them out as they occur on the video. You could also give people a handout listing the role communicators and have them fill out the handout as they watch a video.

Even watching one 5 minute video a week at a staff meeting or over lunch, for several weeks in a row, could help people better understand and be able to identify the role communicators. Help get staff and others in the habit and mindset of looking for and thinking about role communicators.

Another adaptation could be to show a video with the sound turned off, to see what role communicators and roles people can identify without listening to language use.

(A good follow up exercise would also be to make clear the likely impacts of roles, i.e., how devalued roles tend to lead to further wounding and devaluation, and how valued social roles tend to lead to greater access to the good things of life. So, help people see the link from role communicators to roles to wounding or to the good things of life. See our previous post.)

Below are a few video links that might work for this. Some of these are lengthy but you can just watch a segment. These are just my own examples: you could find plenty yourselves to use this exercise. I chose a few generic videos, some old sitcoms and a more recent show. Others are specific to human services. Please let me know how it goes and share other video links by posting a comment.

generic videos:

human service specific:

Posted on August 4, 2010 at 2:00 pm by MTumeinski · Permalink
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