Essay on Development of Self and Youth Sports

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The development of the self: Implications for organized youth sport programs George Herbert Mead was a noted social psychologist who taught at the University of Chicago in the 1930s. He is famous for his theory of the self in which he used the game of baseball to illustrate the complexity of the relationship between the individual and the social environment. In his theory he explained that the social and conceptual abilities required to fully comprehend relationships between different positions in a complex game were similar to the abilities required in the role taking processes that underlie all social relationships and, ultimately, serve as the basis for all social order in society. My own interests in social psychology and the self…show more content…
It was in developing this idea that Mead used a child's participation in an organized game as an example. Mead explained that to fully understand a game, children must be ready and able to view the game through their eyes. In a sociological sense, this means that playing a game or participating in any complex social activity ultimately requires an ability to cognitively grasp the concept of a social system or an interrelated set of positions or roles existing apart from self. But children are not born with this ability. This is illustrated by a mother's efforts to teach her five-year old son to understand that his grandmother is also her mother, and that his uncle is also her brother. The five-year old thinks only in terms of social connections that involve him directly and personally. Within his developmental limits he understands his relationship to his mother, his relationship to his grandmother, and his relationship to his uncle. However, he cannot conceptually separate himself from these personal relationships to specific other people and grasp the notion of a kinship system in which positions are related to one another apart from himself. He knows that he is a nephew to his uncle but the notion that his uncle is his mother's brother is too complex for him to handle. And the notion that his uncle is his grandmother's
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