Soc Theory 3 ReviewGeorg SimmelBiographical sketch1.Early Years: Berlin 1858. Jewish family. Loved city center. Father had no influence, disliked mother, disconnected from family.2.Marriage: well educated painter Gertrude Kinel in 1890. Son Hans. Had mistress with daughter who he never saw. Wife knew but didn’t leave.3.Education: uni of Berlin. Studied philo but interest in art and music. Proposed dissertation, Psych of music but not philo enough, so proposed new dis. 4.Employment: Wanted to be prof at Uni of Berlin but officials had doubts b/c of intellectual non-conformity (interest in art and culture, and soc), and Anti-Semitism. Initially denied. 1885 given position of lecturer, dependant on fees paid by students. Very successful lecturer, and publisher, finally professor in 1901 but honorary so no salary, status, etc.5.Failure to gain position at Heidelberg: 1909, applied for professor, strong reference (Max Weber).Same reasons, rejected again. Had negative impact on interest in soc, stopped teaching soc as often. 6.Move to Uni of Strasbourg: 1914, finally got position in Germany. Sad cuz far from Berlin. 7.Later Years: a.WWI: disillusion with the war, students went to war, lecture halls to hospitals. b.Illness and death: 1918, cancer, finished last book before death at 60. 2 months before war. Son became POW in concentration camp in WWII.Impact on Soc: 256 articles, 31 books. 1.Early Influence: helped develop American Sociological Theory, and Chicago school, and SymbolicInteractionism. Robert Park brought his ideas from Berlin back to America. Largely forgotten after 1930’s until 1980’sTheoretical Ideas2.Level of Analysis: a.Macro: Marx/ Durkheim. Wrote a books called “a monetary economy in society” and focused on dominance over individual. b.Micro: more interested in micro. Interested in interactions and relationships. 3.View of Sociological Society: a.Problems with Soc Theory: past theorists made mistake of treating groups and society separate from people. This cannot be.b.Social Interaction and society: social interaction creates bonds and puts individuals in groupsc.Analysis of everyday life: “the totality of society”, all small interactions fit together to form totality.
d.Forms and Types of Interactants: married couples and street gangs, different types of interactants have similar interactions (divorce and turf wars) 4.Analysis of Domination: a.Mutual influence in relations of domination: Simmel argues relation between dom and sub are double sided (influence one another). Reaction from sub, submit or resist, affects how superior responds. b.Domination exerted by: individual (i.e. monarch), a group (i.e. exec of company), a principle (i.e. laws)5.Analysis of Conflict:a.Conflict can have consequences (reduce tensions b/w groups)b.Conflict over impersonal interests can be especially intense (larger principles, wars etc)c.Conflict b/w groups can generate solidarity within groups (eliminate differences in groupand heighten differences.