Development of Self and Youth Sports

2722 words 11 pages
The development of the self:
Implications for organized youth sport programs

George Herbert Mead was a noted social psychologist who taught at the University of Chicago in the 1930s. He is famous for his theory of the self in which he used the game of baseball to illustrate the complexity of the relationship between the individual and the social environment. In his theory he explained that the social and conceptual abilities required to fully comprehend relationships between different positions in a complex game were similar to the abilities required in the role taking processes that underlie all social relationships and, ultimately, serve as the basis for all social order in society.
My own interests in social psychology and the self
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The play stage is characterized by an ability to put oneself in the role of only one other person at a time. Thus, the boy in the example is able to use his mother's perspective to view and evaluate himself, as well as to view and evaluate the rest of the world. He has an idea of what his mother thinks of him because he can put himself in the role of his mother and view himself as an object from her vantage point. He is also able to use his grandmother's perspective in the same manner, and his uncle's. But he is not yet able to use his grandmother's perspective to view and evaluate his mother or his uncle. Such a perspective would require him to take more than one role at a time and look at the relationships between his mother, grandmother, and uncle apart from his own relationships with any of these people.
It is not until children have the ability to take more than one role at a time that they enter what Mead referred to as the game stage of self-development. It is in this stage that children first begin to understand relationships that do not involve themselves directly. This understanding enables them to begin viewing themselves in a manner that is not directly linked to specific other people in their lives.
Mead never pinpointed the age at which the child moves from being able to take only a single role


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