Good observation!!! What is acceptable in one group is not always acceptable in another. Therefore, you change your appearance based on what you what others to think about you. The others’ perceived judgment about your style makes you change your style depending upon the group.
Directions: Answer the Pre-Reading questions using Chapter 5 Section 2 Guided Reading Notes. When finished, read the article The Looking Glass Self: Who Holds Our Reflections. Read the short article and answer the Guided Reading questions. Finally, write a response to the journal activity.
Pre-Reading: 1. According to Charles Horton Cooley, how do people develop their personality?
People develop their personality by imaging how people see self. 2. What are the steps in this process?
Looking-Glass Self… how we appear to others, other’ reactions toward you and finally you have to conceder such perspective from other’
The Looking Glass Self; Who Holds Our Reflections?
An interesting discussion is about the theory of the Looking Glass Self by Charles Horton Cooley.
Cooley thought that an individual and society do not exist separately, but rather the individual is the product society and society is the product of the individual. There are three parts to the concept; how a person thinks the other(s) perceives him, how the person thinks the other(s) judges that perception, and the reaction of the person to the assumed perceptions and judgments.
I can imagine what a group of diverse people sitting around discussing this may argue, both for and against the theory. What a lively debate it could be, mixing young and old, liberal and conservative, and experienced and inexperienced into the same group. Ah, how many of those individuals, I wonder, would have dressed to convey an image to the others, would speak in certain manners in order to impress or distress, or would consider what the importance of their statements would have upon the other group members?
At first, the theory seems to explain that each person is no more than a reflection of society. More realistically, the theory means we are products of our cultures, our physical surroundings, and the human beings with whom we associate. Generally, I think it can be agreed, most people want to fit into society in some manner. And to fit in means to obey some of the rules of the group to which we belong, or want to belong.
Considering everyone wants to fit in somewhere, people we surround ourselves with have a great influence on who we become. The type of people that we associate with differs through the various stages of our lives; the drinking buddies we may have had in our early twenties may not be the same people we want as godparents for our children. The people from Church are probably not the people we would invite to a bachelor party.
And so, as we grow older, what type of people should we associate with? What reflections of ourselves do we want to nurture? It depends on how each of us view the process of aging, what and when is “old age” to each of us, do we plan to “go gently into the night” or will we remain active in and throughout the middle and latter stages of life, just as we did in our physical youth? There are no wrong answers, merely different ways for different people. Simply being aware of the influences others have on us is important. In that way, we can more actively choose those from whom we are reflected, and be mindful of how we react to others, as reflections of who they are.
1. What are three examples given of step one at the end of the second paragraph? Or, how do people project their image to be judged? Dress up to convey others image, speak in certain way and what is the importance of their statement.
2. How do we become members of a group? We should adapt the social member.
3. While our surroundings shape us, what choice do we have as individuals upon our personality development? We can choice people or group that we should be affected by. For example, if I want to be healthy, I should not hang out with people who drink alcohols.
Post-Reading Journal Response: Below explain a personal example about a time in your life where you experienced the Looking Glass Self. What was your imagined appearance? What were people’s reactions? How did the perceived reactions make you feel about yourself?
I have two nationalities when I was born because my parents are Japanese (my father) and Thai (my mother). That means I have international family, so that I have more opportunities to interact among different nationality. When I dress up or set my hairstyle like Japanese which I think very cool style, my Thai relative, such as grandpa and grandma, looks me strangely because they does know Japanese style. It is not just only my relative but also my friends sometimes. Since there are different perspective between Japanese and Thai, I have to adapt my looks due to who I meet.