Comparison of George Herbert Mead and Sigmund Freud

3403 words 14 pages
Abstract

Self is one’s awareness of ideas and attitudes about one’s own personal and social identity. Identity is shaped at a young age from interpreting concepts about one’s own self from others (Mead, 1934). The present study will compare Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality the (id, ego, and, superego) to George Herbert Mead’s social self-theory the (“I” and “me”). The study will give an overview of both theorist and discuss each approach in relationship to each other, and defining the key concepts. According to Schultz and Schultz, (2008) the id is defined as the source of psychic energy and the aspect of personality allied with the instincts. The ego is defined as the rational aspect of personality responsible for
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The superego develops early in life when the child incorporates the rules of conduct taught by his/her parents or guardian by giving rewards and punishments. Behaviors that are wrong and bring punishment become part of the child’s conscience, one part of the superego. Behaviors that are tolerable by parents or social groups that bring rewards become part of the ego-ideal, the other part of the superego. Hence, childhood behavior is first controlled by parental actions, but once the superego is formed, behavior is determined by self-control. Freud called the super ego iiber-ich, literal meaning, “above I.” Freud describe the superego as the “advocate of a striving toward perfection- it is, in short, as much as we have been able to grasp psychologically of what is described as the higher side of the human life” (Freud, 1933, p.67). The superego will be in conflict with the id. Unlike the ego, which attempts to postpone id satisfaction to more appropriate times and places, the superego will attempt to inhibit id satisfaction completely (Schultz and Schultz, 2008). Next this paper will discuss the early life of George Herbert Mead and his contributions on the subject of the self in society from a sociological perspective.

The Work of George Herbert Mead (1863-1931)
George Herbert Mead a sociologist associated with the symbolic interaction approach was born in South Hadley, Massachusetts. He attended Oberlin College and graduated in 1883 with a

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