A term introduced by Cooley to refer to the dependence of our social self or social identity on our appearance to others, especially significant others. Our self-concept or self image—the ideas and feelings that we have about ourselves—are seen as developing ‘reflectively’ in response to our perception and internalization of how others perceive and evaluate us. This concept is also associated with symbolic interactionism. See also generalized other; self-esteem.
Subjects: Media studies