Stages in the acquisition of the self
- Development of Language
- Playing at roles
- Integration of self in the game stage
⁃ Kinds new it was more important to include him rather than who won.
When we get into the game stage we make a qualitative leap you are now a decision
maker. Apply what you have learned.
Significant other – Cooley
⁃ Tremendous amount of influence on us
⁃ Those others who act as critical role models in the acquisition of self and whose
emotion responses to one as an object are very influential
⁃ Example: parents, siblings, teachers, peers.
⁃ The child is often forced to select between various influences
⁃ A child can choose who is their role model – coach, teacher etc
⁃ We are often active in our own socialization.
⁃ The awakening in ourselves of the group attitudes, which are arousing in others.
⁃ We are most likely to accurately predict attitudes among significant others
⁃ You know as children what will get you in trouble and what will get you praise
⁃ “When you move out of our mothers home she moves into your head”
⁃ That voice that tells you what not to do.
⁃ Survival aspect. When there is a power dynamic like physical abuse- you can tell when
violence is coming.
The nature of personhood
Three components of Mead's analysis of self: dual location, situated vs. biographical,
- Person has multiple realities rather than one
- You are different things to different people
- Who you are depends on time and space
- We also think of ourselves in the future what we want to be
Situations and Biographies
The self is an object in two ways
1)A situated object because taking the role of others in every situation defines self. - in
class room you are a student, at work you are an employee.
2)A biographical object by reflecting on your life as a whole your “cumulative sense of self.
Memory= stream of consciousness, continuity links past present and future.
⁃ For the self
⁃ Always moving and always changing yet always there and the same river.
⁃ River is dammed or eroding but it is still there.
⁃ You are changing but always you
Analytical divisions of self
-Role taking invokes the imagination that actors have of others
Like a map of each other consisting of predictions of appropriate behaviors in various
Maps locate others relative to each other. In particular situations- role expectations
Individuals appraise each other according to the qualities they exhibit in their roles.
Individuals evaluate each other's role performance.
Conclusions- self is actually a very complex notion that can be broken down analytically
along these dimensions.
Defining a situation
- All human conduct occurs in situations that are defined both for and by the actors
- Situations are located in both time and space
- Situations are an intersection of meaningful time and space
- Activities are located temporally in relation to other activities (think of a
- Human experience of time vs. the chronological measurement of time.
- Chronological time feels real – we measure it with clocks. Concept of being real.
- Time is socially constructed
- Class seems to go by slowly – holidays go by fast