Social roles dominate people's lives, and people largely perceive themselves and each other in terms of their roles. The value people attribute to various social roles tends to decisively shape their behavior toward persons whom they see in valued or devalued roles. Those in valued roles tend to be treated well and those in devalued roles, ill. The most current and recently revised version of the Social Role Valorization (SRV) schema is presented in condensed form, showing how social role theory can be recruited for designing very powerful practical measures to pursue valued roles for mentally retarded and other persons or classes at risk of social or even societal devaluation, to upgrade the perceived value of the roles such persons already occupy, and/or to extricate such persons from devalued roles.
Editor's Note. This author has a long-standing tradition, explained in his earlier articles in AAMR publications, of not using people-first language. The editor has waived this requirement in this specific instance.—S. J. T.