Society and individuals do not denote separable phenomena, but are simplycollective and distributive aspects of the same thing. In this aspect of histheory Charles Horton Cooley states that the individual or person is actually apart of a larger individual called society.
With that statement I will discussCooley’s theory and explain my reaction to the theory. Cooley states that aperson’s self grows out of a person’s commerce with others. Well doesn’t thatcreate a society? A person’s individual self put together with millions ofothers selves equals a society. So where does an image that society want, comefrom? One person? In my opinion most individuals are afraid to express their ownopinion. Thus creating a free market on the opinion. One person comes up withthe opinion and the rest of society, if they feel it is not harmful tothemselves, goes along with the opinion.
This creates separate subculture insociety such as the ?punk¦ subculture or the ?thug¦subculture. Because one person was willing to put spikes in his hair for anoutrageous reaction, others followed to express them selves with out being anindividual but being an individual ?society¦. In the?thug¦ subculture does in make you hard to wear clothes to big? Ifit does, than how do today’s youth in middle class suburbia sport that style,they have never lived in the ghetto and experienced things like true thugs have. In this manner people-s individual self-s have come from whom theyinteract with. Supporting Cooley-s theory. The only problem with this ideais that it leaves the idea of originality to be an outcast on society.
Beingdifferent from every one is a call for prejudice, harassment, and being left outof society-s in crowd. We should be able to see a person for theiraccomplishments and their abilities. Not if the are accepted by society. Thetheory it self is an outline for and how to make someone an outcast. If anindividual comes a long and is living in society and doesn-t worry abouthis appearance or materialistic things, is he/she an outcast.
By Cooleys theoryhe/she is an out cast because in his theory he states ? The imagination ofour appearance to the other person, the imagination of his judgement of thatappearance, and some sort of self-feeling, such as pride or mortification. Ifthis individual doesn-t have or want to acknowledge those principals thatmeans he has to be an outcast for not believing in what the rest of societybelieves in when in actuality society is the outcast for trying to be like everyone else. Cooley also states that ? If-we say that society is anorganism, we mean-that it is a complex of forms of processes each of whichis living and growing by interaction with the others, the whole being so unifiedthat what takes place in one part affects all the rest. It is a vast tissue ofreciprocal activity. ¦ In this part of his theory he is trying to say thatif we deny the chance for your individual to grow we deny our society to growand vice versa.
With this part of the theory I agree. A society is based onindividuals. An example of this is teen pregnancy. If you got pregnant in the1950-s you were considered dirty and an outcast, but as it got more commonin society people began to accept it more. Now if you get pregnant it is like ohwell.
In that aspect changing people and their values has changed society andtheir values. You can-t change one with out changing the other. Now withthat into consideration, to change society you would just have to change theindividuals idea-s, but they get their ideas from society. So how do youchange society? Well Cooley said ? Our life is one human whole, and if weare to have any real knowledge of it we must see it as such. If we cut it up itdies in the process. ¦ In this part of the theory I think he is trying tosay that dissecting to far into the relationship of an individual and society isjust impossible.
That while you are looking for the connection you will loseyour connection with society, causing you to lose contact with yourself. Life isfull of mystery and surprise, to find all the answers would just ruin life. There would be nothing else for you to look for while you live. Life itself is amystery and wasn’t made for us to understand until the moment when our lifeflashes before our eyes.