Georg Simmel

Georg Simmel - Georg Simmel Background Born in Berlin; Jew...

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Georg Simmel Background Born in Berlin; Jew in 19 th century Germany (with anti-Semitism) Primarily a philosopher Best known as a micro sociologist who played a significant role in the development of small group research symbolic interactionism and exchange theory Belief that sociologists should study primarily forms and types of social interaction 4 levels of concerns: with multiple levels of social reality (pure sociology) o Microscopic assumptions about the psychological components of social life The forms that interaction takes as well as the types of people who engage in interaction (subordination, super ordination, exchange, conflict and sociability) o Interest in interpersonal relationships. o His work on the structure of an changes in the social and cultural spirit of his times o Emergence- the idea that the higher levels emerge out of the lower levels (Simmels philosophical sociology) he dealt with his views on the basic nature and inevitable fate of humankind Dialectical Thinking Dialectical approach- multicasual and multidirectional integrates fact and value, rejects the idea that there are dividing lines btw social phenomena, and social relations, looks at present and future and concerned w/conflicts and contradictions. Simmels sociology was concerned with relationships (association) Fashion
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Form of social relationship that allows those who wish to conform to the demands of the group to do so; provides the norm from which those who wish to be individualistic can deviate Involves historical process- everyone accepts what is fashionable- as individuals deviate from this they eventually adopt a whole new view of what is in fashion Leader- leads the group by following the fashion better than anyone else by adopting it more determinedly Fashion Duality- unfashionable people view those who follow a fashion as being imitators and themselves as mavericks (simmel said they are engaging in a inverse form of imitation) Individual (subjective) culture and Objective Culture People threatened and influences by social structures and their cultural products Objective culture- those things that people produce (art, science) Individual (subjective) culture- capacity of the actor to produce, absorb, and control the elements of objective culture Individual culture shapes and is shaped by objective culture (obj. culture has life of own) More-Life and More-Than-Life Contradiction btw the two Transcendent Character of Life- people possess a doubly transcendent capability o b/c of restless, creative capacities (more-life), people can transcend themselves o transcendent, creative ability makes it possible for people to constantly produce sets of objects that transcend them o Objective existence of phenomena (more-than-life) comes to stand in irreconcilable opposition to the creative forces (more-life) that produced the objects in the first place. (life found in unity and conflict btw the two)
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course SOC 213 taught by Professor N/a during the Spring '08 term at Southwestern.

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Georg Simmel - Georg Simmel Background Born in Berlin; Jew...

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