Explain the process by which people “take the role of the other.”

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Taking the role of the other requires some fairly high-level thinking. Essentially, taking the role of the other asks a person to imagine themselves in the place or role of another person. Atticus Finch, from To Kill a Mockingbird, calls this climbing into someone else's skin and walking around in it. This kind of thinking, where a person imagines a situation from someone else's point of view, is a mature thought process. It is not something easily done by young kids. Piaget's "stages of development" theory supports this concept. His preoperational stage of development says that, in young children, imagination is developing; however, it is personal imagination. Thinking beyond a personal point of view is difficult or impossible. It's not until age 7 to 11 that people enter the concrete operational stage and can begin thinking about another person's point of view and taking on the role of the other.

Taking on the role of the other...

(The entire section contains 501 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team