Friday, August 28, 2009

Looking Glass Self

K2 is wilful. stubborn and very forceful. He doesn't like sharing, he is rude and not very gentle in his interactions with people...and to be fair he is not quite 3 years old. I have an "opinion" of how he should behave and he doesn't play by my bothered me a lot before but in this gradual journey of motherhood, I have learnt to give up some control...yet deep down I am a sociologist and I believe that at some level my son is watching and learning from me...I can't be at my best behavior everyday...somedays I am worse than others...but most days I try to be an example my son can emulate.

In the early 1900's Cooley used the phrase looking glass self to emphasize that the self is the product of our social interactions. The process of developing a self identity or self concept has three phases.
(A) We imagine how we present  ourselves to others
(B) We imagine how others evaluate us
(C) We develop some sort of feeling about ourselves
A critical aspect of Cooley’s looking glass self is that “the self” result from individual’s imagination of how others view him or her. As a result we can develop self identities based on incorrect perception of how others see us. I believe that to be absolutely true. As a teenager I had weight issues and had a sense that people were judging me by my weight...and I overcompensated with a forceful personality...eventually I realized that my perception of other people's view of me was actually my own view of me.

It is key that your perception of "Self" is a positive reinforcement which grows rather than Cooley wisely said it - ""The thing that moves us to pride or shame is not the mere mechanical reflection of ourselves, but an imputed sentiment, the imagined effect of this reflection upon another's mind."

Raising my glass to raising a child with a proud and vibrant looking glass self...


  1. You have some interesting viewpoints...would surely read more!!

  2. Thanks Anamika...BTW,the movie "Anamika" is one of my favorite movies :) -- have you seen it?