Looking Glass Self Research Paper

768 Words 4 Pages
In this chapter we learned about the role society plays in developing the people we become. Particularly, in the discussion of the development of self. Self is defined as our internalized view of how others perceive us. Basically, it is how we see ourselves “from the outside” or from another person’s perspective.
Three of the most notable theories about the development of self are by well-known sociologists. Two were symbolic interactionist yet they had different theories on how one’s self is developed. In Charles Horton Cooley’s theory, he claims that the self is developed from our interaction with others and that its development is society’s role in making us human. To explain this process, he invented the term “looking glass self”. In this process of three stages, Cooley suggests that we imagine how we appear to those around us, interpret their reactions and come to a conclusion about how they perceive us, then we develop a self-concept based on how others react to us. He explains that ultimately, the sense of self is an ever-changing entity which is never quite finished. Cooley’s theory also allows for the misperception of other peoples’ conceptions of us to become part
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Cooley mentions the way we depend upon how we believe others interpret us, and that our self-concept is developed from this. I identify with this during my years of middle school and high school. This was between the ages of eleven and seventeen. During this time, I would feel the need to make myself fit the description of the crowd, often overly conscious of myself and changing the way I behaved to fit or oppose what others thought of me, depending on whether it was positive or negative. I am of the opinion though, that these are the most influential years of an individual’s development since they are still figuring out who they

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