Self - Self-Concept: Who Are You? Feral children lack a...

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Self-Concept: Who Are You? Feral children lack a sense of self, in part because they’ve not had interactions with others with whom they could distinguish themselves. They also have not had feedback on their value, performance, talents, strengths, and weaknesses. Sociologists using concepts from Cooley and Mead have identified an insightful way of understanding our self-concept. The Looking-Glass Self is the reflection of who we think we see by observing the treatment and behaviors of others towards us. The metaphor used in this concept is a mirror—we see ourselves reflected in the actions and behaviors of those around us (like we see ourselves in a mirror). The Looking Glass Self has three distinct steps to it: Steps to the Looking-glass self: 1. We imagine how we appear to others 2. We imagine and interpret their judgment of us 3. We react positively or negatively to that perceived judgment while developing a self- concept Yes, we do watch how others react to us and how they might judge us. But, not everyone in our lives is equal in their potency of evaluation and how we respond to them. Let me show you what I mean. Make a list of the 10 closest people to you in your life. Once you’ve made the list then put a star beside the 3 with whom you feel the closest bond—you really value their opinion and are connected to them and vice versa. These top ten and top three represent your significant others. Significant Others are those other people whose evaluations of the individual are important and regularly considered during interactions. Strangers you see on campus and in the grocery store do not have the same importance as roommates, close friends, parents, and others you listed. And not all significant others are valued equally. Your fraternity brothers’ or sorority sisters’ opinion of your Halloween costume probably means more than your younger sibling’s opinion. The process leading up to a self-concept is easy to grasp. I’ve taught my students for decades to
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Self - Self-Concept: Who Are You? Feral children lack a...

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