Sociology rarely makes an appearance on Jeopardy! but the discipline was featured in the Final Jeopardy! question on January 8:
Final Jeopardy! clue: Often applied to athletes, this 2-word term popularized by Robert K. Merton refers to an example we aspire to.
I was not aware that this term was popularized by Merton. If anybody popularized this term in recent decades, it was Charles Barkley who several decades ago said:
“I’m not paid to be a role model. I’m paid to wreak havoc on the basketball court.”
Read a quick overview of the concept of role model as well as a summary of Merton’s wide-ranging career (which included popularizing other terms such as “self-fulfilling prophecy”).