What Are George Mead’s Three Stages of Role Taking?

The three stages, also described as “stages of the self” by Mead, consist of language, play, and game. These stages are part of a larger sociological development theory detailed in “Mind, Self, and Society” by Mead.

Mead’s first stage of the self, language, begins when a kid interacts with another using linguistic methods. Consequently, the child assumes a role, linguistically mimicking the attitude of the other.

A child enters the second stage, play, when he or she assumes the character of another person completely. This includes roles such as “doctor” or “nurse.”

The game stage is the most difficult. It takes place when a youngster not only assumes a role to perform in the game, but also interacts with other players who also assume roles. During this stage, the kid must comprehend both his or her own role and the responsibilities of others.


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