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Micro Theory II George Herbert Mead & Symbolic Interactionist Theory.doc

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David Young

Micro Theory II: George Herbert Mead & Symbolic Interactionist Theory February-14-13 8:15 PM A Biographical Sketch of Mead A) Early Years - born in 1863 --> his father was a minister so Mead grew up with a strong, religious background - he was painfully shy and quiet as a child and did not change much as he grew up B) Undergraduate Studies - Oberlin College --> a theological seminary where Mead's father taught - this college reflected the conservative, protestant beliefs that his father and other believers held - however, Mead's interests, as they developed, did not follow these beliefs --> he became interested in the natural sciences, in particular Darwin's ideas about Evolution (which did not sit well with the religious folk) - During his undergraduate studies, his father died and his mother started to look after him - his mother had little in the way of savings or inheritance (sold their house, moved into rented rooms and she began to teach classes at Oberlin College) - Mead helped financially as well, by waiting tables at restaurants and he spent on summer working as a door-to-door salesman (these jobs must have been quite difficult given how shy he was) - In 1883, Mead graduated with his Bachelor's Degree with a major in Philosophy from Oberlin College C) Early Employment - to support his mother and the rest of the family, Mead worked as a school teacher, surveyor and did some private tutoring - on the one hand, he wanted to work with people and help others: social worker (religious faith) --> he didn't want to be doing social work with meant some sort of commitment
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