Transform the province after prussia gained control

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transform the province after Prussia gained control of the area due to its victory in the War of 1866 (Mitzman 1973:91-2). Toennies, however, did not remain in this idyllic rural world, moving instead into the cosmopolitan world of German intellectuals. After transferring from several universities, he finally completed his doctorate at the University of Berlin. Due to his father's largesse, he was unencumbered by financial concerns and thus was able to devote himself to independent scholarship during much of his life. Along with the likes of Max Weber, Georg Simmel, and Werner Sombart, he was one of the founders of academic sociology in Germany, and as an indication of his place of prominence in this circle, he was president of the German Sociological Society from 1909 to 1933. To his credit, he disbanded the society after the Nazis ascended to power, when he became aware of their intention to transform the discipline into an ideological tool of the regime. This act of courage, for which he was dismissed from his position by the government, was a reflection of his gen- eral political orientation, which was remarkably progressive for someone with such a negative assessment of gesellschaft (Heberle 1968:99). He was a complex person who was temperamentally conservative while at the same time involved in a variety of liberal reform activities. For exa'mple, he was an advocate for trade unions, consumer cooperatives, and other progressive political movements. He joined the Social Democratic Party in response to the threat of the German Right (Liebersohn 1988:11-39). Toennies appreciated Marx's critique of the alienating character of capitalism but shared none of Marx's zeal for revolutionary upheaval. He had a romantic attachment to a German past that was disappearing, but he shared none of reactionary romanticism's perverse glorification of the Volk (the people), with its attendant anti-Semitism. Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft With the previous biographical background, we can perhaps better appreciate the significance of Toennies's distinction between gemeinschaft and gesellschaft and, with this typology, the related distinction he made between two types of will, wesenwille and kurwille. According to Individualism 91 Toennies, the social world is willed, by which he meant that it is created by the intentionalities of people acting in concert with others. What he sought to draw attention to in making the distinction between the two types of will was that different kinds of society will arise depending on which will is predominant at any particular time. Wesenwille is defined as natural will. Actions based on this type of will are less consciously chosen, predicated instead on tradition, habit, or emotion. Although not devoid of a rational element, this type of will differs from kurwille, which is a type of will akin to Max Weber's purposive, instrumental (means-ends) rationality (Heberle 1968:100).

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