Thoughts, writing & snippets

Marguerite Koole, PhD

Additional Notes on G. H. Mead

mkoole, · Categories: Identity, PhD Studies, Research · Tags: , , , ,

. . . continued from previous post . . .

I would like to Know the degree to which Rom Harré’s work has been influenced by Mead. There are some useful definitions from Mead’s work that can help us understand some of Harré’s work.

UNITY – “… if this whole is touched at any point it may bring out any other element in the historian’s experience of Gladstone’ (p-85).

MEANING – ”a content of an object which is dependent upon the relation of an organism or group of organisms to it” (p. 80).

Mead suggests that one’s altitude shapes how we communicate and ”give the import.’ to the top,-01 information. He provides our use of conjunctions as an example (and, but, though). These words can set up that which follows. (see p. 86).

“The later stages of the experience itself can be present in the immediate experience which influences them.” (p. 87)

This suggests that we have already internalized altitudes (values, positions) towards experiences. (But all experiences? I suppose we might draw upon previous experiences in order to process the new experiences.)

UNIVERSALISM – when I first saw this word, my immediate association for it was ”essentialism:’ However, Mead appears to view universalisms as the means by which individuals, each with their unique perspectives, can communicate about an idea. (The idea, however, may ultimately be conceived slightly differently by each individual-but the general, universal underlying understanding of the idea transcends the particular.)

-> “It’s universality in conduct, however, amounts only to the irrelevance of the differences of the different perspectives….” (p. 89)

THE GENERALIZED OTHER – “The very universality and impersonality of thought and reason is from the behavioristic standpoint the result of the given individual taking the attitudes of others towards himself, and of his finally crystallizing all these particular attitudes into a single attitude or standpoint which may be called that of the ‘generalized other’ ” (p. 90).


Mead, G. H. (1934). Mind, self & society: From the standpoint of a social behaviorist. (C. W. Morris, Ed.) (Vol. 13). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.


(Note: Converted from Livescribe Pen via MyScript. Still don’t have the kinks out. Will edit properly later.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *