Saw in Sociology.

Also see Person Centred Theory, which introduces the concept of self in Psychology.

There are 2 components to the self: I:

  • Subjective element of the self
  • Emotional, spontaneous, unpredictable


  • objective form of the self
  • Socialized (control spontaneous impulses of I)
  • “recognizes and assumes the expectations or ‘organized set of attitudes’ of others.”

The Looking-Glass Self

This is a very interesting idea: Our self image is based on how we think others see us.

So we Imagine how we appear to others and interpret others’ reactions to develop our understanding of self.

Parallel with Ego?

Stages of the Development of the Self

  1. Preparatory: (0-3yrs)
    • mimic behaviour without understanding
    • no sense of self
  2. Play: (3-5 yrs)
    • Dress up: take on roles of significant others
  3. Games: (6-12yrs)
    • More complex play, Take on Role of several others at once in specific situations
  4. Recognize the “Generalized Other”
    • Age varies
    • Widespread culture, norms and values used as reference for evaluating ourselves

Also see Stages of Moral Development.