Looking-glass Self Essay

419 WordsApr 1, 20092 Pages
Created by Charles Horton Cooley in 1902 the “looking-glass self” is a sociological notion that a person's self develops out of society's interpersonal connections and the observations of others. Cooley explained it in writing that society is an intertwining and interworking of mental selves. The term "looking-glass self" was first used by Cooley in his work. In the “looking-glass self” a person observes self through others' views in society and in turn expands individuality. Identity is the result of the thought in which we discover to see ourselves as others do. The “looking-glass self” begins at an early age and carries on throughout the entirety of a person’s life. One will never stop modifying their self unless all social interactions come to an end. Some sociologists believe that the concept declines over time because only a few studies have been conducted with a large number of subjects in ordinary settings. Starting as children, humans begin to identify themselves within the context of their socializations. The child learns that the symbol of crying will extract a response from parents, not only when they are in need of necessities such as food, but also as a symbol to obtain their awareness. Through interaction with others, we begin to develop an identity about who we are, as well as understanding for others. This is the notion of, 'Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.' There are three main components of the looking-glass self. 1. We imagine how we must appear to others. 2. We imagine the judgment of that appearance. 3. We develop our self through the judgments of others. For example, in the virtual world Second life the computer-user can create a humanlike avatar that reflects the user in regard to race, age, physical makeup, status and the like. By selecting certain physical characteristics or symbols, the avatar reflects how the
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