The introduction explains the motivations, background, tools, and materials of the study. George Herbert Mead occupies a problematic position, because he is known primarily in a discipline in which he did not teach, for a book he did not write. In order to investigate the production of knowledge by and about Mead, the study makes the case for treating knowledge as social action. The implications of this formulation are examined, and this theory serves to integrate the parts of the study into a single, processual account. The major types of archival and primary document research utilized in the study are enumerated and considered. Finally, the basic progression of the substantive chapters and conclusion is outlined, as a way of cuing the reader in to the overall structure of the study and of its key arguments.
Keywords: George Herbert Mead, sociology of knowledge, social action, knowledge, social process, pragmatism, primary documents