The Self


  • Terry Riordan


Introduction:  The concept of self for George Herbert Mead, as outlined in Mind, Self, and Society, can be found as emerging from any social process in which an interaction of selves takes place. According to Mead, the self continually develops as it carries on a "conversation of gestures" with others.  in a "conversation of gestures", the self becomes more aware of its own attitudes as it internalizes the attitudes of others.  A reflection of the attitudes of others affects the attitudes of the self so that the self responds to others in light of their attitudes.  In order for the self to be truly actualized, Mead states that the self must become an object to itself, just as the self regards other selves as objects.  When man views himself as an object, he is able to talk to himself and to see himself as others see him.  This process permits man to reflect on his actions as he comes into contact with others.  In any experience in which man is involved with others, the self takes the attitudes of others and this brings about a change in the self.


How to Cite

Riordan, T. (2014). The Self. Analytic Teaching, 6(2). Retrieved from