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SOCIOL 2S06 Lecture Notes - System On A Chip, George Herbert Mead, Oberlin College

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Richard B Day

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A. Early Years
a. 1863 – Born into a religious family
b. Father – minister grew up with a lot of religious influence in his life
c. He was a very shy and quiet child and he didn’t change much as he got older
B. Undergraduate studies
a. 1880 – Mead began his undergraduate studies at Oberlin College, a theological
b. A lot of protestant beliefs engulfed in these studies. This didn’t sit well with Mead
because he was also learning about the Natural Sciences in particular, he started to
become interested in the ideas of Darwin
c. Mead started turning away from his religious beliefs or secular
d. Worked part-time to pay for his studies and his jobs were difficult for him because
he was shy and his jobs required a lot of interaction, he was a waiter and he was a
door-to-door sales man.
e. 1883- received his Bachelors Degree W/ a Major in Philosophy
C. Deciding on a Career
a. After he graduated from Oberlin college, Mead spent the next 4 years holding
down various jobs as he tried to figure out what he was going to do for the rest of
his life and he was quite torn
i. On the one hand, he wanted to work with people and help others
1. One of the problems was that he could’ve gone into Social Work
but it didn’t appeal to Mead because at that time, Social Work was
really dwelled on social faith
ii. On the other hand, he loved philosophy and ideas
1. Considered the possibility of teaching philosophy but he thought it
wouldn’t fulfil his desire to help people
D. Graduate Studies
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