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Anthropology/Acting / role playing


Hi Ralph, does anthropology ever look into human behaviour in terms of the roles people might take on in business, socialising, dating etc. or is this reserved for psychology?

My question is whether anthropology sees role playing as a fake but necessary way of interacting and making impressions on others, forming societies etc.?

If you are aware of views on where these behaviours are thought to originate from, and how anthropology views human identity and role playing I would be interested in your ideas.

Best regards


Hi Mike,  

"Role Play" has been part of human cultures for as long as we have been around.  In some cases, the roles we play are real and in other cases are "created" to fit a need or for the purposes of imagination.  They play a heavy role in story telling which later evolved into "theater".  Role playing is neither "fake" nor unnecessary but a vital part of society and even our work lives.  It can come across as "imaginary or put on" but if it helps people interact then it serves a clearly defined purpose.  

So, much of human interaction and our active role in our environment has its basis in "role play".


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Ralph Salier


Business Anthropologist. Business negotiations in multiple cultures and working with multiple cultures in the business arena. Broad understanding of business practices and business "ethics" in different parts of the world.


25+ years in international procurement and negotiations.


MA Anthropology, Proximics

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