Care relationships
Care relationships

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Care relationships

1.4 Playing to the ‘script’

1.4.1 Taking on a role

You can only succeed with a projection of yourself which other people are prepared to accept. And you then have to play out the scene the way others in the situation expect it to be played.

Reg and Glenda did not start their opening scene from nothing. They were working within widely shared understanding of home help work, which views it as version of ‘housework’. Cleaning and shopping are seen as traditional ‘women’s work’ – low in status, poorly paid and weakly defined in terms of what has to be done and to what standards. It would be difficult for Glenda to project herself to Reg as, for example, a high-powered, career-oriented woman. And Reg would probably feel uncomfortable if she tried. It fits much more comfortably if Glenda projects herself as a homely woman, who enjoys putting the house straight. If she accepts ‘housework’ as the broad frame of reference, she can draw on traditions of everyday relationships between ‘housewives’ and ‘menfolk’, knowing that Reg will be familiar with playing the other side. It is as though they have a ‘script’ to guide them.

Since their relationship is acted out within Reg’s own home, where he has a sense of being ‘in charge’, and since Glenda’s work is of relatively low status, they are on a fairly even footing. (On her side, she has the authority of a paid role for the social services department and the advantage of being the physically able member of the relationship.) Neither of them is in a clearly passive or subordinate role. Both sides have a basis from which to negotiate the terms of the relationship. The ‘script’ they are playing to is not very tightly defined. (In this context the term ‘script’ does not refer to something written down, but rather the kind of language to be used and the general lines along which participants will expect a scene to develop.)

K100_3

Take your learning further371

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses372.

If you are new to university level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. Find out Where to take your learning next?373 You could either choose to start with an Access courses374or an open box module, which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification.

Not ready for University study then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn375 and sign up to our newsletter376 to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371