Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The power of pragmatismKnowledge production and social inquiry$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jane Wills and Robert Lake

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526134943

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526134950

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Mead, subjectivity and urban politics

Mead, subjectivity and urban politics

(p.86) 4 Mead, subjectivity and urban politics
The power of pragmatism

Crispian Fuller

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the contribution that G.H. Mead’s conception of the self can make to understanding political subjectivity, and deploys this approach in a case study of urban politics in the UK. Mead argued that the social self is created through relations with other human actors, but that the emergent and impulsive ‘I’ of the self can disrupt, reject and challenge intersubjectively created ‘significant symbols’ that guide and give meaning to actors and society through recognition by both the conveyer and responder, shaping what he called the ‘me’. Mead’s conceptions of the ‘I and me’ of the self, and the role of powerful significant symbols, are deployed in an examination of new forms of city-regional government in England. This case study demonstrates how political agency is partly constructed by broader significant symbols that are utilised in the construction of this new governance arena, and how local actors seek to conform to or contest this new political landscape. The chapter applies Mead’s pragmatism as a counterpoint to dominant academic ideas about the power of neoliberalism and the post-political in understanding these and other developments.

Keywords:   G.H. Mead, significant symbols, i/me, post-politics, urban politics

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.