Discuss Mead’s theory of the development of self.
George Herbert Mead is associated with the Symbolic Interactionist perspective which is a micro approach to understanding human interactions. He gave the theory of Self and said that children try to imitate the actions of others around them. This helps the child to understand others’ actions. This is called the play stage. It begins for three years in which the child adopts another’s role. Here other means, significant others. In this, the children imitate and enact the role of adults. For example, children imitate their parents and play cooking games and office-office.
Imitation is called the taking the role of others. In the game stage, children become mature and develop a sense of self and others. The concept of Me emerges in when people view themselves from others’ perspectives. Me is a social self and I is a reaction to Me. In other words, I mean our own opinion, and I is others’ reaction the person takes.
The next development of self takes place at eight or nine. The person tries to understand others’ roles. The concept of generalized other and significant other is explained. Generalized others mean the culture of the group the child belongs to. This helps the child understand how to behave in a social situation. Significant others are the important people in the child’s life and help in understanding the self and the child’s emotions.
Socialization of a child happens when a child understands that their opinion is as important as others.