Although Mead considers that individual and society establish a dialectical relationship (Appelrouth & Edles, 2008), he is not taking into consideration structural and social constrains that manipulate the formation of self and the individual relationships. Mead emphasizes a predominant role of individuals in society,
“The individual possesses a self only in relation to the selves of the other members of his social group; and the structure of his self expresses or reflects the general behavior pattern of his social group to which he belongs, just as does the structure of the self of every other individual belonging to this social group.” (Mead, 1934 as cited in Appelrouth & Edles, 2008, p. 343)
Thus, Mead’s theory suggests that structural conditions are not directly involved with the formation of self; on the contrary, that the self only is formed through the continuous relationship within individuals who do not suffer the influence of the social structure they live in. This vision makes it difficult to analyze the pressure that the social structures, such as government systems or religious beliefs, play in the formation of the self. Furthermore, his assumptions would lead one to consider that structural social factors and global political interests are not relevant in the construction of societies.
Have religion, politic, or media a role to play in the formation of the self?