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Lecture 6

CMNS 110 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Erving Goffman, Impression Management, Hairstyle

Course Code
CMNS 110
Gary Mc Carron

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Week 6 [LECTURE]
Brief overview of the notion of the self in Western thought
Western conception of person as bounded, unique, dynamic center of
awareness/emotion/judgment and action against a social and natural background
o Indexical sense of self
o Contrasts against other cultures of the world, which take more communal views of the self
Connection to monochronism vs polychronism
Plato: the self is made of two parts:
o Rational self
o Desire & spirit
Self = social rather than private event
o Only exists in relation to an Other
o Relation with Others is maintained in processes of human communication
Account of key points from George Herbert Mead
How do individuals contribute to larger social organization?
Looking Glass Theory of the Self
o Mirror analogy; we see ourselves in others/through others' eyes
Inspired by Darwin's theory of evolution to question: how does the self evolve?
o People are born without selves
o Social world precedes the individual
o Language + interaction shape personality
Initially, we communicate thru conversation of gestures
Vocal gestures = language
Only becomes langauge when gestures become significant symbols
Gesture is significant when the individual can interpret the meaning of their own
gestures; being able to bring forward the response that your gesture elicits in
Mead: "When one uses significant symbols, one is taking the role of the other in
the regulation of one's own conduct"
Anticipating others' reaction(s) to your actions
"One becomes a human being insofar as one becomes an object to oneself."
Stages of self:
The "I" - First phase of self to appear; the doer, the feeling, instinctive, sensuous
The "Me" - The receiver, the s
ense of what others perceive of what I do
The "Myself" - Consciousness, self-consciousness, awareness of self, the ability to
imagine oneself in interaction
o Result of relations to other individuals involved in the above process
o How does one interact with oneself?
Conversation between "I" and "Me"
o Mind and self not present at birth, result of social experience context + mechanism of
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