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MA (Master of Arts)
Date of Award
Committee Chair or Co-Chairs
Scott H. Beck, Martha Copp
George Herbert Mead constructed a brilliant theory of the self as a social phenomenon emerging from the interplay of linguistic symbols. While the persuasiveness Mead's theory remains, he provides an inadequate account of the significance of emotions and conflict for the development of the self. After outlining Mead's theory, this study suggests how Mead's understanding might be improved to account more adequately for the significance of emotions and conflict while maintaining the central strengths of Mead's theory.
Examining a range of Mead's writings, this study critiques Mead's theory via three primary means: the theoretical works of William James and Karen Horney; contemporary research in neuroscience; Mead's attempts to apply his theoretical understanding to concrete social conflicts.
This study concludes that while Mead's theory fails to account adequately for the significance of emotion and conflict, his theory can be readily modified by incorporating some of the ideas of James and Horney.
Thesis - Campus Only
Cox, Samuel David, "Emotion, Conflict, Sociality: A Critique of George Herbert Mead's Social Self Theory from the Perspectives of William James and Karen Horney." (2001). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 151. https://dc.etsu.edu/etd/151
Copyright by the authors.