'The Mead Project' (2005) [online]. Available from:http://spartan.ac.brocku.ca/~lward/inventory.html; accessed on 18/07/05.
The Mead Project; foundational documents in sociological social psychology.
The Department of Sociology, Brock University, St Catharines, Canada.
The Mead Project
One of the Mead Project's goals is to provide a context to Mead's publications. As a writer, Mead had a curious style -- he rarely presented his ideas as original contributions. Instead, he portrayed them as minor modifications to the work of others. While admirably modest at the time, at the end of the twentieth century, this creates more than one problem for any näive reader.
A lot can happen in a century, especially in emerging fields like social psychology. Two barriers stand in the way of easily understanding of Mead's work. First, over half a century has elapsed since Mead last published. Simply locating the documents that Mead commented on or included in his syntheses can be difficult.
The second problem, is a bit more difficult. Neither Mead's ideas nor those he drew upon existed in a vacuum. There is a broader context, assumed by the work but only occasionally directly referenced. These are the ideas that fill out the intellectual landscape of the time. What was the intellectual background against which Mead is proposing his ideas? What did the rest of psychology, philosophy, sociology look like when Mead wrote?
These questions are harder to answer. The net has to be cast wider, drawing in sources that are only indirectly related to the central goal of Mead Project. Documents that provide this type of background will also appear here. Deciding which documents to include requires more than a little editorial license, so bear with us.