CMNS 110 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Impression Management, George Herbert Mead, Erving Goffman

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The Self
metaphysical questions → metaphysics
key pts from George Herbert Mead
examination of central ideas from Erving Goffman
we recognize in others the existence of ourselves
ex) a professor and students
we understand who we are as persons because we recognize who we are not
The Self on the western view
western conception of a person → bounded, unique, more or less integrated motivational and cognitive
universe, a dynamic center of awareness, emotion, judgement and action, organized into a distinctive whole
and set contrastively against other such wholes and against a social/natural background is a rather peculiar
idea that we are such separate unique beings, we shouldn’t be connected w other individuals
other societies have more intimate family relationships
How does Edward halls notion connect to Gary’s lecture?
monochronic vs polychronic societies
western vs eastern society, → individual vs group
The self: rational self → desire & spirit
imp. part of our personal identity = found in the interplay of memories, imaginations
self → social event rather than a private thing; self only exists in relation to an Other; that the relation w
others is maintained in processes of human communication
no such thing as a private self → has to be realized in social activity
George Herbert Mead
language becomes the mechanism for the development of the self
at birth, there is no self → we are born without a self, it develops over time
“the social precedes the individual”
through course of life, development of social is first, and then individual comes second
Self is something which has a development, it is not initially there at birth, but arises in the process of
social experience and activity, that is, develops in the given individual as a result of his relations to that
process as a whole and to other individuals within that process. - (Mind Self and Society, p. 135)
Everyone beings w: Vocal gestures (langauge)
initially we communicate through a conversation of gestures
the conversation of gestures only becomes lang. when these gestures become significant symbols
How does a gesture become a significant symbol?
gesture is called a significant once the individual can interpret the meaning of her own gestures
means being able to “call out” or bring forward the response that your gestures calls out of elicits in others
using language means being able to imagine how other people will respond
calling out the response you anticipate
mead describes the process of gestures becoming symbols as follows:
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