Role model
The term role model generally means any "person who serves as an example, whose behaviour is emulated by others".

The term first appeared in Robert K. Merton
Robert K. Merton
Robert King Merton was a distinguished American sociologist. He spent most of his career teaching at Columbia University, where he attained the rank of University Professor...

's socialization research of medical students. Merton hypothesized that individuals compare themselves with reference group
Reference group
A reference group is a concept referring to a group to which an individual or another group is compared.Sociologists call any group that individuals use as a standard for evaluating themselves and their own behavior a reference group....

s of people who occupy the social role to which the individual aspires.

According to a survey of teachers in the U.K. conducted in 2008 by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers
Association of Teachers and Lecturers
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers is a trade union, teachers' union and professional association, affiliated to the Trades Union Congress, in the United Kingdom representing educators from nursery and primary education to further education...

 young people frequently chose role models from celebrity culture
A celebrity, also referred to as a celeb in popular culture, is a person who has a prominent profile and commands a great degree of public fascination and influence in day-to-day media...

 such as David
David Beckham
David Robert Joseph Beckham, OBE is an English footballer who plays midfield for Los Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer, having previously played for Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid, and A.C...

 and Victoria Beckham
Victoria Beckham
Victoria Caroline Beckham is an English singer-songwriter, dancer, model, actress, fashion designer and businesswoman. In the late 1990s, Beckham rose to fame with the all-female pop group Spice Girls and was dubbed Posh Spice by the July 1996 issue of the British pop music magazine Top of the Pops...

 or Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton
Paris Whitney Hilton is an American businesswoman, heiress, and socialite. She is a great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton . Hilton is known for her controversial participation in a sex tape in 2003, and appearance on the television series The Simple Life alongside fellow socialite and childhood...

 and emulate their appearance and manner. According to the teachers surveyed the most popular role models of British school children in 2008 were:


In 2007 the media frenzy which accompanied the jailing of Paris Hilton moved Abi Moore, a British web developer, to create PinkStinks a website
A website, also written as Web site, web site, or simply site, is a collection of related web pages containing images, videos or other digital assets. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet...

 devoted to creation of appropriate role models such as Shanaze Reade
Shanaze Reade
Shanaze Danielle Reade is a professional British Bicycle Motocross racer and track cyclist whose prime competitive years began in 2002. She has won the UCI BMX World Championships three times...

, Majora Carter
Majora Carter
Majora Carter is an economic consultant, public radio host, and environmental justice advocate from the South Bronx area of New York City. Carter founded the non-profit environmental justice solutions corporation Sustainable South Bronx before entering the private sector.-Early life:Carter...

, Rebecca Adlington
Rebecca Adlington
Rebecca "Becky" Adlington, OBE, is an English and British freestyle swimmer. She won two gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in the 400 m and 800 m, breaking the 19 year-old world record of Janet Evans in the 800 m final...

 and Mo'nique for girls and young women.

See also

External links and further reading

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