The Self And Self Consciousness Essay

The Self And Self Consciousness Essay

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One of the biggest areas of study in the class looks at the self. There are many situations that cause individuals to act differently. One of the biggest and repetitive is how individuals act in a fraternity house. No matter the gender, everyone acts very different in these houses then they would at church. Mead, Goffman and Hochschild look at the self through different lenses but they conclude that there is a lack of self. Everyday people conform to societies many situation which dictates individual’s actions while continuously stripping them of their own self.
Mead starts off talking about the self, which he says it is not an identity but as self-consciousness that is capable of being object and object to one’s self that is possible because of interaction. The self is created by the interactions in childhood. Mead explains with, “the self is something which has a development; it is not initial there, at birth, but arises in the process of social experience and activity” (Mead 2012: 311). There are three stages, the play state, the game, and the generalized other that all help people shape their identities in the way society expects them to act. The play state is where children act one role that they see people around them doing. An example is little children playing house and playing the roles of their parents. The game state is when children grow up a little and they go beyond the one role and learn what everyone else does. This is seen in sports like soccer where children learn what the defenders, goalies and other position do and how it impacts their own role in the game. Finally, the generalized other is when the child learns they are a part of a group and have to also have the opinions of the group. The self is created th...


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...on to avoid awkwardness. Mead looks at the self and the inter dialog that allows individuals to be able to form to society. Through his theory, he argues that the self is not an identity but a learned role. The inner dialog help individuals to conform to society as they are able to process situations. Goffman continues with the idea that individuals do not have a self, his theory fall under dramaturgy where he claims that everyone has a front. These fronts allow individuals to act socially expectable and be merchants of morality in different groups. Hochschild continues to discuss the lack of self as her theory talk about how individuals do not have control of their emotions. People must act professional no matter what in their jobs. The lack of self allows social interaction to have a major influence how individuals have to shape their actions to fit into society.

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