Northup, Solomon. Twelve Years a slave (New York: Penguin Books, 2012). (461)


Mead, George Herbert. “The Self.” In



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Mead, George Herbert. “The Self.” In Social Theory Re-Wired, edited by Wesley Longhofer and Daniel Winchester, 423-438. New York: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group, 2012. (16)

Language in relation to the navigation of the self is critical to the investigation of the self in relation to others. George Herbert Mead’s piece, “The Self,” recognizes and examines this concept and massages the idea that “the self is something which has a development; it is not initially there, at birth, but arises in the process of social experience and activity”70. A primary concept that Mead deals with is the separation of the mind from the body, ultimately the self from the physical form. A notion such as this would be somewhat understood, but comes into conflict with theorists such as DuBois or Audre Lorde, both of whom recognize the body as a physical manifestation which society views are part of the self. Mead continues his argument in that this separation from the body is a “characteristic of the self as an object to itself” and “in the past has been distinguished as conscious, a term which indicates an experience with, and experience of, one’s self”71. This concept makes sense in the course of self-examination, as one can be separate from their consciousness, as well as their physical, and, under certain arguments, would have to be in order to fully acknowledge the presence of one’s “spirit”, with or without religious connotation, but one cannot, as Mead does, disregard the societal norms which make one more and more aware of their physical form. Everything from gender to sexuality to race to handicap has created an over-awareness of the body in the context of others, instead of making one available to dissect their self in relation to themselves.






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