Charles Horton Cooley

Charles Horton Cooley
Charles Horton Cooley
  • Born: August 17, 1864
  • Died: May 7, 1929
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Sociologist

43

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15

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70

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Charles Horton Cooley was an American sociologist and the son of Thomas M. Cooley. He studied and went on to teach economics and sociology at the University of Michigan, and he was a founding member and the eighth president of the American Sociological Association. He is perhaps best known for his concept of the looking glass self, which is the concept that a person's self grows out of society's interpersonal interactions and the perceptions of others. He would eventually attain the title of president of the American Sociological Society, where he enjoyed the successful publishing of his work. At the end of his life he became very ill, and succumbed to an unidentified form of cancer in 1929.

Quotes About
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Quotes
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A man may lack everything but tact and conviction and still be a forcible speaker. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
A person of definite character and purpose who comprehends our way of thought is sure to exert power over us. He cannot altogether be resisted; because, if he understands us, he can make us understand him, through the word, the look, or other symbol, which both of us connect with the common sentiment or idea; and thus by communicating an impulse he can move the will. Leaders & Leadership
Between richer and poorer classes in a free country a mutually respecting antagonism is much healthier than pity on the one hand and dependence on the other, as is, perhaps, the next best thing to fraternal feeling. Miscellaneous
Each man must have his "I"; it is more necessary to him than bread; and if he does not find scope for it within the existing institutions he will be likely to make trouble. Miscellaneous
Every general increase of freedom is accompanied by some degeneracy, attributable to the same causes as the freedom Freedom & Liberty
If we divine a discrepancy between a man's words and his character, the whole impression of him becomes broken and painful; he revolts the imagination by his lack of unity, and even the good in him is hardly accepted. Human Nature
Institutions-government, churches, industries, and the like-have properly no other function than to contribute to human freedom; and in so far as they fail, on the whole, to perform this function, they are wrong and need reconstruction. Freedom & Liberty
No matter what a man does, he is not fully sane or human unless there is a spirit of freedom in him Freedom & Liberty
One of the great reasons for the popularity of strikes is that they give the suppressed self a sense of power. For once the human tool knows itself a man, able to stand up and speak a word or strike a blow. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
Printing means democracy because it brings knowledge within the reach of the common people, and knowledge, in the long run, is sure to make good its claim to power. Media, Journalism & The Press
The general fact is that the most effective way of utilizing human energy is through an organized rivalry, which by specialization and social control is, at the same time, organized co-operation. Time ;Human Nature
The idealist's program of political or economic reform may be impracticable, absurd, demonstrably ridiculous; but it can never be successfully opposed merely by pointing out that this is the case. A negative opposition cannot be wholly effectual: there must be a competing idealism; something must be offered that is not only less objectionable but more desirable. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
There is nothing less to our credit than our neglect of the foreigner and his children, unless it be the arrogance most of us betray when we set out to "Americanize" him. Immigration & Emigration
To have no heroes is to have no aspiration Leaders & Leadership
When one has come to accept a certain course as duty he has a pleasant sense of relief and of lifted responsibility, even if the course involves pain Miscellaneous
A man may lack everything but tact and conviction and still be a forcible speaker; but without these nothing will avail... Fluency, grace, logical order, and the like, are merely the decorative surface of oratory.
A talent somewhat above mediocrity, shrewd and not too sensitive, is more likely to rise in the world than genius.
An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one. Success ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
As social beings we live with our eyes upon our reflection, but have no assurance of the tranquillity of the waters in which we see it.
Each man must have his I; it is more necessary to him than bread; and if he does not find scope for it within the existing institutions he will be likely to make trouble.
Every general increase of freedom is accompanied by some degeneracy, attributable to the same causes as the freedom. Freedom & Liberty
Failure sometimes enlarges the spirit. You have to fall back upon humanity and God. Religion & God ;Failure
Institutions - government, churches, industries, and the like - have properly no other function than to contribute to human freedom; and in so far as they fail, on the whole, to perform this function, they are wrong and need reconstruction. Government ;Freedom & Liberty
One should never criticize his own work except in a fresh and hopeful mood. The self-criticism of a tired mind is suicide. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Our individual lives cannot, generally, be works of art unless the social order is also. Society ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Prudence and compromise are necessary means, but every man should have an impudent end which he will not compromise.
So far as discipline is concerned, freedom means not its absence but the use of higher and more rational forms as contrasted with those that are lower or less rational. Freedom & Liberty
The bashful are always aggressive at heart.
The idea that seeing life means going from place to place and doing a great variety of obvious things is an illusion natural to dull minds. Life
The imaginations which people have of one another are the solid facts of society. Society
The literature of the inner life is very largely a record of struggle with the inordinate passions of the social self. Life
The mind is not a hermit's cell, but a place of hospitality and intercourse.
The need to exert power, when thwarted in the open fields of life, is the more likely to assert itself in trifles. Life ;Power
There is hardly any one so insignificant that he does not seem imposing to some one at some time. Time
There is no way to penetrate the surface of life but by attacking it earnestly at a particular point. Life
There is nothing less to our credit than our neglect of the foreigner and his children, unless it be the arrogance most of us betray when we set out to 'Americanize' him.
To cease to admire is a proof of deterioration.
To get away from one's working environment is, in a sense, to get away from one's self; and this is often the chief advantage of travel and change. Travel
To have no heroes is to have no aspiration, to live on the momentum of the past, to be thrown back upon routine, sensuality, and the narrow self.
Unless a capacity for thinking be accompanied by a capacity for action, a superior mind exists in torture.
We are ashamed to seem evasive in the presence of a straightforward man, cowardly in the presence of a brave one, gross in the eyes of a refined one, and so on. We always imagine, and in imagining share, the judgments of the other mind.
We have no higher life that is really apart from other people. It is by imagining them that our personality is built up; to be without the power of imagining them is to be a low-grade idiot. Life ;Power
When one ceases from conflict, whether because he has won, because he has lost, or because he cares no more for the game, the virtue passes out of him.