Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Deegan, Mary Jo and John S. Burger. 1978c. “George Herbert Mead and Social Reform: His Work and Writings.” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 14 (October): 362-372. [Reprinted, pp. 171-183 in George Herbert Mead: Critical Assessments, Vol. 1, edited by Peter Hamilton. London (United Kingdom): Routledge, 1992].


Copyright 1978 Mary Jo Deegan and John S. Burger


There are two popular myths concerning the eminent philosopher and social psychologist George Herbert Mead: that he published little during his lifetime and that Mind, Self, and Society is his most important sociological work. This misrepresentation of Mead's contributions is partially grounded in the neglect of his work and writings on social reform. The misrepresentation of the significance of the almost seventy articles Mead wrote during his lifetime distorts the meaning of his concepts and has profound implications for symbolic interactionists who claim Mead as one of their founding fathers.