Analysis of Mead's Perspective on "The Self"
Like mind, according to George Herbert Mead, â€˜The self', is a social
emergent. He argued that this social concept of the self involves
individual selves who are the products of social communication and not the
preconditions i-e- logical or biological of that communication. He further
compared his social theory of the self with individualistic theories of the
self, which means, the theories that assume the preference of selves to
social development. According to Mead:
"The self is something which has a development; it is not initially
there, at birth, but arises in the process of social experience and
activity, that is, develops in the given individual as a result of his
relations to that process as a whole and to other individuals within
that process" (Mind, Self and Society).
As further indicated by Mead the model of society
is an organic modelwherein individuals are linked to the social process just the same way asparts of body are related to bodies. Moreover, this reflexivity of the self differentiates humanconsciousness from animal is pointed out by Mead as two uses of this term"consciousness": the first use of consciousness may signify "a certainfeeling consciousness" as an outcome of an organism's understanding to itsenvironment, while the second use of the term consciousness denote to akind of awareness that always has completeness (The Columbia Encyclopedia,2001). At the same time there is a kindof pre-reflective consciousness, which refers to the "bare thereness of theworld," and is reflective (or self-) consciousness that describe humanconsciousness. While, the pre-reflective world is a world in which the selfis missing (Mead, 1988). Therefore, the selfas an object occurs out of the individual's experience of other selves,which is outside of himselfherself. Conclusion To analyze the view point of Mead, it is understandable that the selfas an object is not an object in a mechanistic, billiard ball world ofoutside relations, but instead it is a fundamental construction of humanknowledge that take place in respond to other people which is in an organicsocial-symbolic world of internal relations, which is much evident inMead's explanation of playing and gaming (Blunden, 1913). " But for Mead, itis the reflexivity of the self, which, differentiate it from other objectsand the body and which both are not objects to themselves as the self is(The Columbia Encyclopedia, 2001). However, self is considered to be areflective process, meaning, "it is an object to itself. Thus, the individual, according to Mead, "Can enter as an object to himself only on the basis of social relations and interactions, only by means of his experiential transactions with other individuals in an organized social environment" (Mead, 1988). Hence, self-consciousness is the outcome of a process wherein theindividual takes others attitudes toward himselfherself, and attempts toperceive himselfherself from the viewpoint of others. Thus, the second use of the term "consciousness" is much appropriateto the explanation of human consciousness. This objectified self is a developmentthat is within the social organization and processes of individual inter-subjectivity (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy).