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Sociology - Essay Example

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His college education also inspired him to independently read Charles Darwin, British sociologist Herbert Spencer, and German sociologist Albert Schaeffle. His interests in the social outlook influenced some of his writing while still working in transportation, and as a draftsman and statistician. Other writers that later influenced his work were Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson (American Sociological Association 2013). In reading such authors, Cooley began to examine more the connection between society and the individual, which he saw as being interrelated. Cooley designed the concept of the ‘Looking Glass Self’ which presented that a person’s self was determined by the society and that all social life, the interaction of persons, groups and organizations were all related by mental phenomena (American Sociological Association 2013). Some of his most important writings come from this period, such as the Personal Competition (1899), Human Nature and the Social Order (1902) and the Social Organization (1909), and Social Process (1918) (American Sociological Association 2013). Cooley determined that the self-perceptions a person attains through life are actually internalizations of the views of others put on to the self, that the self is a social product. Another way to state this is that we ‘see’ ourselves the way others see us. ...
Imagery is the main vehicle of distributing what the rich and famous look like, what they wear, what they eat, and how they act, particularly during shows (Miley Cyrus comes to mind here). The social impression starts at the beginning of life when Mother is the overwhelming deliverer of food and attention, the basics needs of babyhood. As babies progress into childhood, crawl and walk around, the directives begin, with ‘don’t touch that,’ ‘don’t go there,’ and a description of the self as ‘bad boy’ or ‘bad girl’ when the order is not understood, or simply not followed. Cooley also states that women are more impressionable than men, who tend to be able to stand alone and have less need for social acceptance. Women, however, must conform more to the societal image of ‘proper’ womanhood and require personal support and corroboration that they are on the right track (Yeung & Martin 2003). In the Looking Glass Self Theory (LGST), there are three points that describes the process of the LGST development: 1. Our perception of how we appear to another; 2. Our estimate of the judgement the other person makes of us; and 3. A resulting emotional feeling about this judgement, whether it is pride or shame (Doob 2000, p. 151). One way to explain this is if a comedian starts his show onstage and tells a joke and there is little reaction, then he tells another joke and there is still not much reaction, he may wonder if there is anyone out there, or whether he just is not funny anymore. He may assume that if no one is laughing, maybe he just is not funny anymore. If the theatre wants their money back, then he is quite sure he is not funny ...Show more
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Summary

Theory in Sociology: Understanding ‘The Looking Glass Self’ Theory Question #1 Using sociological sources outline one sociological theory. With reference to sociological research explain (i) how it is useful for understanding society and (ii) any limitations that it has…
Sociology Essay
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