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Charles Cooley: The Looking Glass Self

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Arianna Daminato

on 18 October 2013

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Transcript of Charles Cooley: The Looking Glass Self

Charles Cooley
The Looking Glass Self
Charles Cooley was a sociologist who studied the relationship between a person and society, and believed that the two were very connected. He believed that they go together and that they both impact each other equally. An important concept that Cooley came up with is the
primary group
. The primary group is "a set of people whom an individual has strong emotional and personal connections" (Social Science p. 111) But Cooley is most known for his theory of the
looking-glass self
The Looking Glass Self:

a psychological concept stating that a person's self grows out of society's interpersonal interactions and the perception of others. (www.boundless.com)
There are three components of the looking glass self
1. We imagine how we appear to others.
2. We imagine the judgement of that appearance.
3. We develop our self through the judgements of others.
This theory was created by Charles Cooley in 1902, and it says that people shape them selves by what others perceive them as, or what they think others perceive them as, and confirm other people's opinion of them.
This could lead to people thinking that other peoples' opinions of them are more important than their own opinions. People can also think that the opinions of others define who they are, and this can have very negative consequences.
An example of this idea is an online avatar, where people can create a character by selecting physical characteristics and making a person, or choosing a symbol to represent them. This avatar was chosen by the creator to project how they want to be perceived by the online community.
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