Mead, George Herbert (18631931)
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American philosopher, social and historical theorist, and psychologist; one of the founders of American pragmatist philosophy (see also Pierce and Dewey). In anthropology, Mead is primarily known for his theory of identity, which describes the emergence of a Self, by juxtaposition of an "I" with an "Other", leading to the conceptualization of a "Me" - the "I" as an object for the "Other". Out of many such juxtapositions grows the concept of the "Generalized Other", which summarizes all experiences of particular "Others" into a an overarching entity, in response to which the "Self" - the totalized conception of that which experiences otherhood - arises.

Mead's theory of identity has found new applications in postmodern anthropology, which has attached great importance to the critique of the idea of the "Other" as a opressive construct of dominant groups and cultures, and of the "othering" committed by representatives of such groups (e.g. Western anthropologists during fieldwork).


To explore links concerned with George Herbert Mead at the AnthroBase Annotated Link Collection, see:
http://www.anthrobase.com/Browse/home/hoj/antropologi.htm#gh-mead

A comprehensive biography and treatment of the work of G. H. Mead is found at:
http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/m/mead.htm