Soc Theory Part 3Micro Theory: Georg SimmelA Biographical Sketch1.Early Years: Born center of Berlin in 1858. Born to a Jewish Family, enjoyed busy city center, loved it more than his family. Father did not have influence on him, disliked his mother, had little contact with his older siblings.2.Marriage: married young and well educated painter named Gertrude Kinel in 1890. Had a son named Hans. Had a mistress whom he had a daughter with, never saw her. Wife knew but did not leave him. 3.Education: attended uni of Berlin for undergrad and grad work. Studied philosophy but had interest in art and music. Proposed dissertation on the psych of music but it was rejected because it did not correlate with his study of philosophy. Proposed new topic which was accepted and he completed his PhD. 4.Employment: a.finished PhD in 1881 and wanted to become professor at the uni of Berlin. Applied for position but officials had doubts b/c of intellectual non-conformity (wanted to study art and culture in relation to philo) and also interested in sociology. Also there was a lot of anti-Semitism in Berlin that resulted in limits on placement and advancement of Jewish professors. B/c of these reasons, Simmels initial app was denied. b.In 1885, Simmel was given a position as a lecturer at the uni of Berlin. Came without an annual salary, livelihood dependant on fees paid by students who attended the lectures. Simmel remained a lecturer until 1900. c.Career at Uni:i.Considerable success at teaching b/c he was an extremely popular lecturer. Mostlectures became a public event that were attended by Berlins intellectuals, politicians, and artists ii.Simmel also had considerable success at publishing, in 15 years as lecturer he published 6 books and 70 articles.iii.Finally received a promotion to professor in 1901 but the promotion was honorary, meaning no salary, status, or power of an actual professor.d.Failure to get a position at the Uni of Heidelberg: 1909 applied for professorship here, given strong reference letters in application, one from Max Weber and other famous scholars. For the same reasons Simmel could not get position at Berlin. This discouragement had a negative impact on his interest in sociology, 1909-1914 wrote little on sociology and instead focused on analysis of art and culture. Refused the presidency of the German Sociological Association. Also reduced the number of sociology classes that he taught. e.Move to uni of Strasbourg: in 1914, he finally obtained a position as a Professor at a minor university, in an area of Germany that was formally part of France. He was not happy here b/c far from Berlin, did not feel like part of uni.
5.Later Years: a.First world war: began in 1914 and Simmel responded with patriotic enthusiasm but became increasingly disillusioned with the war (same as what Weber went through). It had an impact on his work as a professor b/c a lot of students went off to war and many of his lecture halls were turned into military hospitals.