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A Behavioral Examination of Mead's View of Role-Taking

Ernest G. Rigney Jr. and Richard L Smith
Symbolic Interaction
Vol. 14, No. 1 (Spring 1991), pp. 71-81
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction
DOI: 10.1525/si.1991.14.1.71
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Page Count: 11
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A Behavioral Examination of Mead's View of Role-Taking
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According to Mead, self appears as individuals take the role of others toward their own gestures. In two investigations, the hand movements of subjects were observed as they verbalized different commands specifying hand or head movement to another person. The first investigation explored the possibility of directly observing and recording instances of role-taking. In the second, the visual accessibility between experimental subjects was varied in order to assess its effect on the frequency of overt role-taking. Results indicate that the process of role-taking is amenable to direct observation; and, furthermore, that overt role-taking decreases as visual accessibility increases.

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