Society and individuals do not denote separable phenomena, but are simply
collective and distributive aspects of the same thing. In this aspect of his
theory Charles Horton Cooley states that the individual or person is actually a
part of a larger individual called society. With that statement I will discuss
Cooley’s theory and explain my reaction to the theory. Cooley states that a
person’s self grows out of a person’s commerce with others. Well doesn’t that
create a society? A person’s individual self put together with millions of
others selves equals a society. So where does an image that society want, come
from? One person? In my opinion most individuals are afraid to express their own
opinion. Thus creating a free market on the opinion. One person comes up with
the opinion and the rest of society, if they feel it is not harmful to
themselves, goes along with the opinion. This creates separate subculture in
society such as the ?punk¦ subculture or the ?thug¦
subculture. Because one person was willing to put spikes in his hair for an
outrageous reaction, others followed to express them selves with out being an
individual but being an individual ?society¦. In the
?thug¦ subculture does in make you hard to wear clothes to big? If
it 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 they
interact with. Supporting Cooley-s theory. The only problem with this idea
is that it leaves the idea of originality to be an outcast on society. Being
different from every one is a call for prejudice, harassment, and being left out
of society-s in crowd. We should be able to see a person for their
accomplishments and their abilities. Not if the are accepted by society. The
theory it self is an outline for and how to make someone an outcast. If an
individual comes a long and is living in society and doesn-t worry about
his appearance or materialistic things, is he/she an outcast. By Cooleys theory
he/she is an out cast because in his theory he states ? The imagination of
our appearance to the other person, the imagination of his judgement of that
appearance, and some sort of self-feeling, such as pride or mortification. If
this individual doesn-t have or want to acknowledge those principals that
means he has to be an outcast for not believing in what the rest of society
believes in when in actuality society is the outcast for trying to be like every
one else. Cooley also states that ? If-we say that society is an
organism, we mean-that it is a complex of forms of processes each of which
is living and growing by interaction with the others, the whole being so unified
that what takes place in one part affects all the rest. It is a vast tissue of
reciprocal activity.¦ In this part of his theory he is trying to say that
if we deny the chance for your individual to grow we deny our society to grow
and vice versa. With this part of the theory I agree. A society is based on
individuals. An example of this is teen pregnancy. If you got pregnant in the
1950-s you were considered dirty and an outcast, but as it got more common
in society people began to accept it more. Now if you get pregnant it is like oh
well. In that aspect changing people and their values has changed society and
their values. You can-t change one with out changing the other. Now with
that into consideration, to change society you would just have to change the
individuals idea-s, but they get their ideas from society. So how do you
change society? Well Cooley said ? Our life is one human whole, and if we
are to have any real knowledge of it we must see it as such. If we cut it up it
dies in the process.¦ In this part of the theory I think he is trying to
say that dissecting to far into the relationship of an individual and society is
just impossible. That while you are looking for the connection you will lose
your connection with society, causing you to lose contact with yourself. Life is
full 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 a
mystery and wasn’t made for us to understand until the moment when our life
flashes before our eyes.

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