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"George Herbert Mead"
George Herbert Mead
Author:
Rebecca Wyant
George Herbert Mead is known best for his reform activities, his social psychology course, and his many articles on social and educational questions of the day. Although Mead wrote numerous papers and articles for academic journals, he never produced a written work that demonstrated the great extent to which his thought formed an innovative, systematic whole. Of the founding fathers of American Pragmatism, Mead remains the least known or appreciated. For this, Mead is to blame himself.

Mead accepted middle-American values of volunteerism, self-discipline, practical action, and an optimistic attitude toward social progress. He viewed these as incorporated into the development of American democracy. For Mead, democracy was not just a political system, but an overall emergent pattern of self-identity and social interaction. He felt that the development and growth of democracy as a social advance, but that it was not yet completed. Mead believed that democracy entailed a society in which all individuals were united in the active search of personal goals while at the same time working together to produce a greater shared good.

In Meads philosophy, volunteerism and self discipline were viewed as related to democracy. He saw volunteerism as an ability of persons to clarify their goals while understanding their place in society, an ability to choose their own actions while engaged in a process of cooperation with others. Although democratic cooperation thus incorporates a sense of individual abilities and goals, it also requires self-discipline. He believed that in democracy, social control arises from the mass of the population itself, rather than from being coerced by an upper estate or caste system. Mead asserted that external coercive and punitive controls were adverse to the fulfillment of the democratic ideals of a self-governing population. To Mead, democracy also implied an atmosphere favorable to the increase of scientific knowledge. He...

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essay on George Herbert Mead
Pages:
6 (1499 words)
Comments:
1
Added:
11/16/2011
Category:
Miscellaneous
Plagiarism level of this essay is: 83%
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Boger
Good day!!! "George Herbert Mead" is a topic for my term paper. Can you write my paper for me?
05/15/2010
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