21 Eylül 2011 Çarşamba

Self, Dilemma and Mirror Maze: Cooley's Looking-Glass Self

The self is an organism that exists and acts both personally and socially, and the personal self cannot be analyzed, also understood, independently from social self; simply because the individuals themselves are social beings. That is not to say that; one’s self is only shaped, re-shaped or de-shaped with the social environment, but also with various social others that an individual has interpersonal relations. Since the relations or connections with others are crucial for an individual to survive; the other becomes the matter of our concern, the one that we must get a respond from to satisfy our desires. Therefore, the self is created in such relations, according to three criteria; imagination of our “appearance” in the mind of the other, his/her judgment about it and drawing on this judgment, a feeling about “I”.

If there is a high concern about the appearance of the “self” in the other’s self, then all kinds of possessions of the individual are subject to be presented in the relations. But, Karl Marx explained that as commodity fetishism; our interactions with others are expressed by an objectified relationship between the values of commodities through gaining independent power on the people, drawing from this, an individual becomes not who s/he was but what s/he possesses.

It appears to me that, the people are always tending to develop their relationships in a certain way and they act accordingly; therefore there is a kind of “demand” in this process. So, if I do have the image of a thief in the others’ mind because of my look and attitudes which are natural to me, so that I do not perceive negative feeling about that, won’t I still try to change this image in order to show the truth to the others? But, it seemed to me that, according to looking-glass theory an individual do acts according to the image and judgment of the others’ mind. Yet, I don’t think that is the way how many significant figures were acting; if it was so, then today we would still be living in the age of darkness, just because the others’ thought what they’ve done was not appropriate.

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