Essay on The Devil, By George Herbert Mead

Essay on The Devil, By George Herbert Mead

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The devil is to I as the angel is to Me. The image of a devil and an angel on a person’s shoulder chattering, arguing, and influencing a big Hollywood screen always makes an audience laugh. Behind the lights, camera action of these spats is a screenplay showing the evolution of a character’s social self in society. Consider the devil is an impulse and represents the I while the angel is the Me; an interpretation of society. George Herbert Mead put this concept into words, “Mead would say that you have both an I and a Me. The I is your impulse about what to do in a particular situation; the Me represents your interpretation of what other people will think of you if you follow your own impulse,” (McIntyre 158). The social self is a lifelong moving target starting at a young age. Play and family structure present opportunities and obstacles that build a child’s social self because of the different experiences and statuses an individual’s identification manifest at a young age without their knowledge.
The interaction between the I and the Me comes with time and life experience. Infancy is more of a reaction than decision: I pull mom’s hair (impulse/action), I like the noise she makes (enjoyment), mom is mad (observation) and puts me on the floor to play by myself (observation), I do not like being on the floor alone (feeling), I will not pull hair (learned behavior from impulse/action). As time passes the I and Me develops in with play experiences. “Play is an important phase in children’s development-it is their first exposure to taking on the roles of others and seeing themselves as others might see them. In other words, play is a fist step to constructing a Me,” (McIntyre 159). The importance and need for children...


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...irst time kids are given the freedom to make some choices without family looming over them but they will still have the internal learned status. “For the adolescent, the influence of the peer group can loom very large…As children interaction with others in their peer groups, they learn a great deal about how they are expected to behave. The peer group is different from either family or school because it socializes children to become independent from adult authority, “ (McIntyre 163).
Listening to the devil and angle talk, fight, and make-up starts young and carries on for a lifetime. From moment to moment the I has the upper hand, then quickly the Me steps in as actions and reactions happen around us. Without knowing it play, family status, and experiences build a foundation to keep the communication between the I and the Me a moving target for a lifetime.

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