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Mead on Topsight

viernes, 8 de julio de 2016

Mead on Topsight

From George Herbert Mead's Mind, Self, and Society (§35; "The Fusion of the 'I' and the 'Me' in Social Activities), p. 276-77.

The frequent attitude of the person in social service who is trying to express a fundamental attitude of neighborliness may be compared with the attitude of the engineer, the organizer, which illustrates in extreme form the attitude of team work. The engineer has the attitudes of all the other individuals in the group, and it is because he has that participation that he is able to direct. When the engineer comes out of the machine shop with the bare blue print, the machine does not yet exist; but he must know what the people are to do, how long it should take them, how to measure the processes involved, and how to eliminate waste. That sort of taking the attitudes of everyone else as fully and completely as possible, entering upon one's own action from the standpoint of such a complete taking of the rôle of the others, we may perhaps refer to as the "attitude of the engineer." It is a highly intelligent attitude; and if it can be formed with a profound interest in social team work, it belongs to the high social processes and to the significant experiences. Here the full concreteness of the "me" depends upon a man's capacity to take the attitude of everybody else in the process which he directs. Here is gained the concrete content not found in the bare emotional identification of one'sself with everyone else in the group.

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