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Mind, Self, and Society from the Standpoint of a Social Behaviorist (Works of George Herbert Mead, Vol. 1)

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226516684
ISBN-10: 0226516687
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If philosophical eminence be measured by the extent to which a man's writings anticipate the focal problems of a later day and contain a point of view which suggests persuasive solutions to many of them, then George Herbert Mead has justly earned the high praise bestowed upon him by Dewey and Whitehead as a 'seminal mind of the very first order.'"(Nation) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

George Herbert Mead (1863-1931) was an American philosopher, sociologist and psychologist, primarily affiliated with the University of Chicago, where he was one of several distinguished pragmatists. He is regarded as one of the founders of social psychology and the American sociological tradition in general.


Charles W. Morris (1901–1979) was an American semiotician and philosopher. Morris studied engineering and psychology at Northwestern University, where he graduated with a B.S. in 1922. Later that same year, he entered the University of Chicago where he became a doctoral student in philosophy under the direction of George Herbert Mead.
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Product Details

  • Series: Works of George Herbert Mead, Vol. 1
  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: The University of Chicago Press (August 15, 1967)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226516687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226516684
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This books represents the foundation for a major sociological approach - symbolic interactionism. The essential premise of symbolic interactionism is that all human action is essentially symbolic and that society is to be understood, not as a closed system to be studied in abstraction, but as a network of endless interactions in which human beings symbolically interpret human behavior, speech and thought. Society is the interiorised 'other' or a projected interpretation of societal 'others'. Human self therefore has a free component or I and a bound component or We.

This book is an essential reading for whosoever wants to understand sociology and also the departure of Anglo-American sociology from 'society as a system' approaches. And above all it is a timeless classic that you can enjoy reading for the sheer insights it throws into social behavior.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Until I read Mead's Mind, Self, and Society I couldn't get past mind/body dualism. Great authors rejected it; none, to my limited knowledge, endorsed it. But none were able to convincingly explain it away.

Mead, however, though it was not his stated intention, dispels mind/body dualism quite easily. He does so by first giving priority to the organism, something that his contemporary followers, known as symbolic interactionists, seem not to understand.

Mead then acknowledges that human beings have a central nervous system possessed of the neurological equipment needed for symbolic functioning, something not shared by other organisms, except in rare instances and in rudimentary form.

Beyond that, human beings are actively sensate organisms who participate in social settings where mutually interpretable symbols -- especially in the form of language -- are in routine use. It is in such social settings that we acquire the symbolic wherewithal needed for communication with others and for thinking, an internal conversation that we have with ourselves. It is in such social settings that we acquire an individuated self.

When speaking of acquiring language or any other capability, Mead is clearly referring to reorganization of the central nervous system. For Mead, inevitably, that is what learning is, and again we see that he has good reason to give priority to the organism.

Mead's take on the concept attitude is especially interesting. He defines an attitude as a repertoire of start-to-finish behaviors which gives value to the environment. A car is a valuable means of transportation if we know how to drive it. Otherwise it's worthless. We need a socially learned repertoire of behaviors to give it value.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mead is a classical theorist whose theory laid the foundation of contemporary theory. There are many researchers who refer to Mead's work, but it is imperative to go back to the original text to ensure accuracy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love the new edition.
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By Jo on March 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Educational purchase
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