The Construction of Mind, Self, and Society: The Social Process Behind G. H. Mead'S Social Psychology

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Abstract

Mind, Self, and Society, the posthumously published volume by which George Herbert Mead is primarily known, poses acute problems of interpretation so long as scholarship does not consider the actual process of its construction. This paper utilizes extensive archival correspondence and notes in order to analyze this process in depth. The analysis demonstrates that the published form of the book is the result of a consequential interpretive process in which social actors manipulated textual documents within given practical constraints over a course of time. The paper contributes to scholarship on Mead by indicating how this process made possible certain understandings of his social psychology and by relocating the materials that make up the single published text within the disparate contexts from which they were originally drawn.

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