George Herbert Mead's Influence On Sociological Perspective

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George Herbert Mead was an American philosopher and sociologist. Mead, known as one of the most prominent social philosophers was born in South Hadley, Massachusetts. He attended Harvard, where he studied philosophy and psychology. At Harvard he met philosopher William James and Josiah Royce who greatly influenced Meads thinking. After receiving a bachelor’s degree Mead went to Germany to continue his study in psychology. While in Germany he studied with Wilhelm Wundt, who influence Meads ideas on the self and society. In 1891 he married Helen Kingsbury castle and taught at the University of Michigan. He met sociologist Charles Cooley and philosopher John Dewey who also influences Meads thinking greatly. Later, he moved to the University of Chicago with John Dewey where he taught until his death. Throughout Meads life time he had many people that influence him greatly. While attending Harvard he met philosopher William James and Josiah Royce who had major influence on the way he thought. Not long after did he study with Wilhelm Wundt…show more content…
Mead viewed language as one of the most important aspects when analyzing the social world. “He reasoned that language allows us to become self-conscious beings—aware of our own individuality” (Giddens et al. pg.15). In language there are words that have no inherit meaning, that we assign a meaning to them. So a word is basically a symbol, something that represents something else. A good example of a symbol is given in Giddens book, the word tree is a symbol that represents the object tree. Mead states that once we master the concept of a symbol we learn to think of objects symbolically. When we start to think of objects symbolically it helps to interact with others. According to symbolic interactionists all interactions between people involve the exchange of symbols. Symbolic interactionism is

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