Blog #5 – George Herbert Mead & the “Mind”

Mead focused his attention to three different areas, “Mind”, “Symbols & Language”, and the “essence of meaning”. The mind is what controls all that we do, why we do it, and how we come about doing it. Everything that someone says or does is controlled by the minds. Before even enagaging in something one thinks of how others will respond to their actions. People think of the consequences before performing something or saying something.

Mead expalined meaning by having three main points that are all related to one another, 1) a guesture made by a person 2) the response that is expected by another person to the gesture that was made 3) completion of social act. In everyday life gestures are made by people and before another person responds to that gesture the person initiating the gesture already plays in their heads the response that is desired by the person being presented with the gesture. The gesture made only has meaning if the response to that gesture is the same as the response expected by the individual presenting the gesture. An example presented in the book was when someone says, “Do you have a pencil?”. The person asking the question expects to have his/her desired response match the response given by the person they are asking. If the person responds with somehting totally different than what was asked, for example, by passing you a bottle of water then what was said did not have much meaning or was not understandable.

I never quite looked at things in that sense until reading about Meade and his view on things. We do present gestures and it is true that before we even get an answer we already have a response in our heads of what the person we are asking will respond before the person even replies. Also when we do things most people make decisions based on how society will react to it, whether its good, bad, different, or “normal”, so society definitely shapes many individual’s motives and decisions. How society views things usually has to do alot with how people behave and act.


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