George Herbert Mead (1863–1931) was a philosopher whose theoretical contributions reflect the influence of three intellectual movements. First and foremost, Mead was a pragmatist, adhering to its central argument that the most important goal when thinking or acting is not found in achieving an “ordered understanding of the subject matter [at hand], but in the uses to which it may be put” (Shalin, 2003, 300). Mead’s specific contribution to pragmatism is his assertion that people’s selves and identities emerge through social interaction; thus, they will be inclined to act in the best interest of their salient social groups. Mead’s ideas also reflect key tenets of a second philosophical movement, German Idealism. It is rooted in the perspectives of Kant and others that reality is only knowable through conscious thought; thus, individuals shape their own realities.