Who am I? I'm just a sum of connections, but I am pullulating conglomerate of connections. Some connections are fresh like seeds budding into flowers; while others fade like petals in the fall. Some connections can be rooted so deep that I could dig and dig; only to never weed them out. The self, being the manifestation of these intertwined connections, grants us humans the ability to articulate ourselves. This development of the self occurs through socialization or a consolidation of social experience forming: norms, customs, values, traditions, social roles, symbols and languages. Occasionally humans are able to transcend the self and become larger than the individual and this may hint to our desire for organized grouping. However I fear we lack the intimacy of a primary group, with current systems or institutions, to achieve cohesiveness on a large scale. In small harmonious communities lies the strongest of bonds and the cohesive power to function sustainably.
To produce any human there must be an underlining dyad relation between two people. When germinated heredity and environmental factors can begin to build a body and mind capable of viewing the social imagination. Born into an institution of a hospital a baby is documented, given a social-norm in the form of a birthday and interlinked within the dominant system. An ascribed status is often assigned by society at birth giving an individual a race, nationality, and gender. These ascribed statuses often come into conflict with other statuses and can even become a master status that dominates all others. This can, especially in the past, cause society to look at a specific race or gender as lessor and inferior in status. However achieved status, that comes through ones own unique talents and efforts, can lesson the blow or overshadow ascribed status completely. The social structure changes through time, as the groups making up the society also change, through the power of revolutions, protest and movements to reconstruct social reality. These statuses can be self-prescribed as well as early socialists Charles Horton Cooley and George Herbert Mead found out.
In the early 1900s, Cooley, began to make advancements on how humans learn through interaction and how we view ourselves. Cooley coined the phrase "looking-glass self" due to the process of developing a self-identity or self-conception through three phases: First, by imagining how we present ourselves to others; second, imagining how others evaluate ourselves; lastly, how we feel about those perceptions. This concept was significant because Cooley's idea of the looking-glass self was based off an individuals social imagination resulting in a self-identity. This model was incomplete, However Mead continued to explore Cooley's interactionist theory.
We are not born with this distinct identity, which meant it had to be cultivated as we matured, Mead developed a practical model breaking the self into the stages of development: the...