Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tarzan the Ape-Man

Social Interactionism is a theory about how people acquire their self-concepts.
Watch this video link. It is about a man named Tarzan.

Disney's Tarzan- Strangers Like Me clip.

George Herbert Mead, the creator of the Social Interactionism theory felt that the first step to acquiring a self-concept comes from the symbols created by language. In the video clip, it is very clear that his human friends are trying to teach him "civilized" behaviors. One of the first things they teach him is how to read. They also teach him by showing him pictures, or symbols, of very human things in hope that by seeing this things and learning words, he will act more like a human rather than a gorilla.

Another interesting part of George Herbert Mead's theory is the I and Me concept. As I blogged in the I + ME = Self-Concept blog, I noted how Mead felt that every person has an "I" and a "Me." The "I" is spontaneous and creative. It is sort of like the gorilla part of Tarzan. His natural self. The "Me" is the socialized part of every human. The "me" is represented by Tarzan becoming more "human."

Social Interactionism also consists of the self-fulfilling prophesy. The idea that people take on the traits that other people tell them they have. In the Disney version of Tarzan. Young Tarzan is very upset, because he does not feel like he belongs. The male leader of the gorillas is being very mean to him, but his mother constantly reinforces that he is a real member of the family. In the end, Tarzan becomes the man/gorilla his mom always assured him he was. He saves the day, his family, and the pretty Lady Jane from the bad guy.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Everybody loves FIRO

The TV series Everybody Loves Raymond is a comedy that started in 1996 and ended in 2005. The show centers around Ray Barone and his family. Ray is a sports writer who is married to Debra. They live right next door to Ray's parents. Marie, Ray's mom, is a very controlling person who is always criticizing Debra's way of doing things. Ray's father's name is Frank. He is also literally frank-always saying what he feels. Ray's older brother Robert lives with their parents for the first few seasons. Robert and Ray have some great brotherly moments over the years, but they are always a bit distant because of the different personalities.

Everybody Loves Raymond seems like a great show to represent William Shcutz's FIRO Theory of Needs. I blogged about this theory and entitled it "In, Out, Up, Down, Close, or Far." The theory explains that there are three basic needs in a person's life: the need for inclusion, control and affection. I feel like the characters of Raymond, Marie, and Robert each embody one of these needs.

For example, Ray Barone embodies the human need for inclusion. Although he has a great life with a nice family, he never seems to be able to take criticism. I think that it is because Ray has a need to be included. He would much rather be "In" than "Out." Below is a link that shows how Ray must prove everyone else wrong when he hears that they think he is annoying. He can't stand that he would be the one to be on the "outs." Instead, he makes it his goal to prove to everyone that they are much more annoying than he is.

Marie, Ray and Robert's mom, is the perfect example of someone who lives there life based on "up" or "down." She is a very dominating woman, who still wants to mother her boys as if they were still little boys. She is always making decisions that affect everyone around her. She insists on doing things her way, the right way. She is also very critical of Debra, Ray's wife. She's hilarious, but definitely someone who always needs to be in control and "up." Here is a clip showing some over her actions.

Robert is an example of a person who needs to be "close" or "far." Even though he is the eldest brother, he has always lived in the shadow of Ray. He is convinced that his mother loves Ray the most. Robert is also a little quirky, which make it even harder for him to relate to those around him at times. He is older, but still loves with his parents (until many seasons into the sitcom). He has a desire to be close to those around.

I hope these clips give you a clear example of people who are driven by the need to be included, in control, or closely tied to those around them. Everybody loves FIRO.

For more information about the FIRO Theory, visit my blog entry "In, Out, Up, Down, Far, or Close."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Honorable Mentions

To further explain some of the theories that I've blogged, I would like to share some TV series/Movies that I feel show what these theories look like during human interactions.

I hope you enjoy them!