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Mead's Theory of Self and Cooley's Looking Glass Self

Mead's Theory of Self and Cooley's Looking Glass Self

Author: Sadie Pendaz

This lesson will explore and explain George Herbert Mead's Theory of Social Self and Charles Cooley's "Looking-glass self."

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Terms to Know
C.H. Cooley's Looking Glass Self

Cooley argued that the self is a product of our social interactions with other people that involves three steps: 1) The imagination of our appearance to other people and associated feelings; 2) Imagining that others are evaluating our behavior; 3) We develop feelings and react to the imaginary evaluations of ourselves as objects.

George Herbert Mead's Theory of the Self

According to Mead, the self, the part of one's personality composed of self-awareness and self-image, emerges through social interaction. Mead made several assumptions in proposing this idea: 1) that the self develops only through social interaction; 2) that social interaction involves the exchange of symbols; 3) that understanding symbols involves being able to take the role role of another.