George Herbert Mead's Theory of Pragmatism Asserts an Individual's Reality is Based on Their Interaction with the World

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George Herbert Mead’s theory of pragmatism operates on the assertion that there is no intrinsic fundamental truth to reality for society as a whole. Pragmatism more so enquires that reality is based on an individual’s interactions with the world around them and thus reality and truth is capsulated within the mind of the individual. “If a thing is not recognized as true, then it does not function as true in the community.” As such, pragmatism is a never-ending process for the individual throughout his/her life cycle. Consciousness and consensus are gradually developed allowing one to descry themselves, their values, morals and ethics--their truth. Ideologies and objects are negotiated within the self through perceptual and social …show more content…
Based on W.E.B. DuBois’ understanding, while minorities share the majority’s pragmatic structure, they also have a separate pragmatic self from that of the majority. In the case of the black population, it comes in the form of that black soul--a “second sight” that allows them to take in subjective nature of the American world. It observes the many class imbalances, injustices and subjugation hidden amongst the grand narrative of America’s history. The understanding of Mead’s symbolic interaction is key in this process. DuBois’ critical sociological perspective sees how cultural oppression stems from exclusion in history, false representation or little to no representation, which leads to stereotypical assumptions. If identity is an illusion prompted by the subjectivity of modernity, oppression based on race and ethnicity is altogether a fiction mostly because of the general lack of minority representation.

Representation gives the world around us meaning. If the meaning of minorities is to be an underrepresented oddity, it becomes very easy to commodify, degrade and exploit that group of people. The absence of representation allows room for assumptions not rooted in cultural history. These assumptions and stereotypes are dangerous fictions fabricated by the lack of perspective representation, or as DuBois puts it “lies agreed upon” by the white majority. This also causes a split of the

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