Essay about Secrets of a Wild Child: George Herbert

Essay about Secrets of a Wild Child: George Herbert

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George Herbert Mead was an American Philosopher and a Social Theorist. He was born in 1863 in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Mead had a religious upbringing. After working as a grade school teacher and surveyor for a railroad firm, he attended Harvard University to study philosophy and sociology. Upon completing his Masters, Mead taught at the University of Michigan and later Chicago. Mead was a naturalist and consequently Darwin had a strong influence on many of his researches. Mead is renowned for his theory of development of self and his concept of “I” and “Me.” The character Genie, in the film Genie: Secrets of a Wild Child, exhibits and validates Meads concept of self and the development of self.
The film Genie: Secrets of a Wild Child is about a girl who had been kept in isolation for over a decade. She was abused and tied to a potty chair, in a confined room, prior to her discovery on November 4, 1970 by a social worker. After her discovery researchers wanted to see if a nurturing environment was able to compensate for her barbaric upbringing. For the next four years she became a test subject for psychologists, psychiatrists and linguists from all over the world. She was apart of various experiments and was constantly being assessed by numerous researchers. For majority of the four years, Genie lived with the Rigler family. David Rigler was one of the psychologists working on her case. However in 1974, due to the lack of scientific findings, the National Institute of Mental Health revoked funding for the research. Subsequently, less than a year later, Genie moved back to live with her widowed mother; as her father had committed suicide upon the authorities finding her.
Mead constructed a self reflective idea that consisted...


... middle of paper ...


...Genie displays all the characteristics that Mead had described in both his concept and theory. Furthermore, Genie’s development can be broken down based on Mead’s theory. Genie develops precisely as Mead would have predicted, based on his theory. Her responses and reactions additionally justifies Mead’s concept of self. Her actions to an event are strikingly similar if a similar event has occurred in the past. Based on the film, Genie is able to develop up to the third stage of Mead’s theory; however, no conclusive evidence is available to suggest her development of the fourth stage.



Works Cited

Brym, Robert. (2014).[Socialization] In, Whittington-Walsh, F. (Ed), Introduction to Sociology: SOCI 1125: Introduction to Society (91,93,119). Toronto: Nelson Education.
Garmon, Linda. (1994). Genie: Secrets of a Wild Child. In, Nova. Boston: Public Broadcasting System

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