Mead, Symbolic Interactionism

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In symbolic interactionism people learn the meaning and symbols through social interaction that allow them to express their individuality. This idea is derived from Mead’s theory that society is the ongoing social process that precedes and determines the mind and self. Mead describes that human beings begin their understanding of the social world through "play" and "game.” These two interactions eventually develop into the “I” and “me” according to Mead. Society has a profound impact on our thought processes and action. Mead’s interrelated theory proves his thesis that symbolic interactionism from the early stages to late stages in human life allow people to form perceptions how of society should work. At a very young age children begin to form situations and realizations that determine their actions in adult life through Mead’s theory of “play” and “game.” "Play" is the original process in the child's development. Children are incapable of fully rationalizing experiences and responses, therefore the child takes a variety of roles he/she observes in the adult society through their parents, the media, or television. He/she then plays out these roles them to gain an understanding of the diverse social roles. For example, he initially plays the role of cowboy and then the role of an Indian while playing "Cowboys and Indians." Also, he/she might play the role of a doctor and patient when playing "Doctor." When the child matures, he/she can involve themselves in the “game.” The “game” occupies a more complex style of role-playing than “play.” In the “game,” the child is obligated to act out all the roles of the people who are involved with him in the “game.” In the “game” the child has to communicate with their peers and comprehend the rules of the game. Through participation in the "game", a child achieves the knowledge that he has to relate to norms of

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