I read a book as a kid. It sat on the back of the toilet. One was called something like, “Scripts people play”. the other was “I’m OK/You’re OK”. Well, one was as a kid and one as a teenager: I probably have the dates mixed up.
Anyway, they were the same idea: the “script” or “roleplaying” analogy to explain human behavior. It’s a good model. It doesn’t cover everything: I don’t think we ARE our roles that we play; even if the outward “I” seems to always do.
Yet, it’s a good explanatory model because we all understand acting and roleplaying: We learn behavior BY roleplaying as toddlers and preschoolers and observing other’s reactions to the “play of life”.
It’s positively Shakespearean. “All the world’s a stage”.
But I’d place it, as MD said, as a social construct: a very useful and pragmatic analogy for explanatory purposes but not necessarily a “thing in itself”. But very very useful. I haven’t found a better analogy yet. [we are computers is far worse of an analogy for example].