CST13.Sum.Mead - Classical Sociological Theory, 4e Ritzer...

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Classical Sociological Theory, 4e Ritzer George Herbert Mead Classical Sociological Theory Chapter 13 CHAPTER SUMMARY Pragmatism and Behaviorism The theories of George Herbert Mead (1863-1931) were shaped by pragmatism and behaviorism. Like pragmatists, Mead adhered to the belief in the superiority of scientific data over philosophic dogma and the importance of empirical investigation of the social world. Mead has been associated with the philosophic realist branch of pragmatism because he emphasized society and how it constitutes and controls individual mental processes. Like behaviorists, Mead believed in studying the experiences of individuals from the point of view of their conduct. However, he disagreed with the behaviorist use of introspection to study mental processes. Instead, Mead proposed that the most effective way to study the mind was to study what he called the social act. The Social Act and Gestures The most primitive unit in Mead’s theory is the social act. Mead identified four stages of the social act: impulse, perception, manipulation, and consummation. The first stage, impulse, involves an immediate stimulation and an actor’s reaction to this stimulus. Perception, the
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This note was uploaded on 05/20/2010 for the course SOCIOLOGY Classical taught by Professor N/a during the Spring '10 term at Open Uni..

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CST13.Sum.Mead - Classical Sociological Theory, 4e Ritzer...

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