[Soci250] 1024 notes Simmel

[Soci250] 1024 notes Simmel - "Formal Society"...

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“Formal Society” - form vs. content -> what and how - sarcastic * essence vs. substance Simmel * “Geometry of Social Life” – how we can distill the interactions of society to figure out the way society unfolds; how people interact and what are the essence of these actions * “Forms of interaction” - dyad + triad - Symbolic interactionism: roots can be traced back to Simmel; how we create meaning based on our interactions with one another - Microsociology On the Significance of Numbers for Social Life : - group size bigger = certain needs smaller = certain needs different needs of a population; influences the way people interact “It will immediately be conceded on the basis of everyday experiences, that a group upon reaching a certain size must develop forms and organs which serve its maintenance and promotion, but which a smaller group does not need. On the other hand, it will also be admitted that smaller groups have qualities, including types of interaction among their members, which inevitably disappear when the groups grow larger” (p 87) Sheer size affects relations: - Committees -> power of dissent (is based on # of people, compared to as being based on ratio) - Aristocracy -> absolute limitation on size; leads to extinction; meeting interests becomes difficult - Masses -> simple ideas - Radicalism -> a group of people are more inclined to radicalism (p 94) “Have little to lose… “
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* Conflict - “Conflict is thus designed to resolve divergent dualisms; it is a way of achieving some kind of unity, even if it be through the annihilation of one of the conflicting parties. This is roughly parallel to the fact that it is the most violent symptom of a disease which represents the effort of the organism to free itself of disturbances and damages caused by them.” (p 70) Conflict – the origin of contrast, people normally avoid it, usually has a winner and a lower, divisive - fundamentally creates unity, resolves tension that is in need of attention “Just as the universal needs ‘love and hate,’ that is attractive and repulsive forces, in order to have any form at all, so society, too, in order to attain a determinate shape, needs some quantitative ratio of harmony and disharmony, of association and competition, of favorable and unfavorable tendencies. But these discords are by no means mere sociological liabilities or negative instances. Definite, actual society does not result only from other social forces which are positive, and only to the extent that the negative factors do not hinder them. This common conception is quite superficial: society, as we know it, is the result of both categories of interaction, which thus both manifest themselves as wholly positive. ” (p 72) - Unity and conflict are like two sides of a coin, conflict is a good thing “There is a misunderstanding according to which one of these two kinds of interaction tears down what the other builds up, and what is eventually left standing is the result of the
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[Soci250] 1024 notes Simmel - "Formal Society"...

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