What Is Social Identity

Topics: Identity, Sociology, Self Pages: 2 (616 words) Published: March 4, 2013
What is Social identity?
Who are we? Many individuals believe that the fulfillment of one’s life is ultimately to find one’s purpose. It is this search for our purpose that leads us to finding out who we really are. Our true selves; hard working or lazy, Christian or Muslim, music lover or music maker, it is this search for purpose that unveils our true being. George Herbert Mead is well-known for his theory of the social self, which is based on the central argument that the self is a social emergent. The social conception of the self-entails that individual selves are the products of social interaction and not the logical or biological preconditions of that interaction. It is not initially there at birth, but arises in the process of social experience and activity. According to Mead, there are three activities through which the self is developed: Language, play, and game. Language allows individuals to take on the “role of the other” and allows people to respond to his or her own gestures in terms of the symbolized attitudes of others. During play, individuals take on the roles of other people and pretend to be those other people in order to express the expectations of significant others. This process of role-playing is key to the generation of self-consciousness and to the general development of the self. In the game, the individual is required to internalize the roles of all others who are involved with him or her in the game and must comprehend the rules of the game. Mead’s concept of the “generalized other” is also essential to his theory, which he defines as an organized and generalized attitude of a social group. The individual defines his or her own behavior with reference to the generalized attitude of the social group(s) they occupy. When the individual can view himself or herself from the standpoint of the generalized other, self-consciousness in the full sense of the term is attained.

Who are we? In the science and research of Social psychology,...
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