Generalized Other is a theory of George Herbert Mead’s he believed that the expectation of what others and society expected of you would shape your behavior in the different scenarios of your life. While I agree with this theory I do find it interesting to notice the large shift in what was expected of the Generalized Other. There was a time when the acknowledging the generalized other simply meant behaving in a non deviant manner and following your gender and class expectations. However things have changed drastically. Now the generalized other can be seen as encouraging stealing. When teenagers go into shopping malls and are followed in a way that makes it clear that they are expected to steal what other idea are they to have about themselves? The younger generation is now expected to be deviant and rude and so that is how they act. When young African Americans are treated by the police as a constant threat and see that such a large percentage of their demographic is in jail what could they possibly expect of themselves when not much is expected of them?
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- Nicole Hala