Blog #2: Georg Simmel: An Intro

Georg Simmel was not considered as influential in the field of sociology as Marx, Durkheim, or Weber, however I found his view of society to be of interest. According to Simmel, society is just the name for the individuals who are connected by interactions. He viewed the importance of society not as a system composed of institutions, but as the interactions between individuals. He also explained his view of society as the duality of contradictory forces. Not only are individuals part of society through their interactions, but they also shape society.

Simmel focused many of his ideas around the interactions of individuals within different forms and content. To him individuals in modern society are part of different groups. Individuals are a “part” of many different relationships that ultimately enhance individuality. However, the freedom to be part of various affiliations can lead to conflict according to Simmel. His theory, “tragedy of culture” explains the  conflict that occurs when products created by the creativity of humans overpowers the individual. The individual no longer has the ability to control the products or “objective culture”. This can be seen throughout Simmel work with regards to money, and fashion. Ultimately, every form of social interaction is connected.


One response to “Blog #2: Georg Simmel: An Intro

  1. Nice, clear overview of Simmel’s distinctive approach to sociological theory. Only the last statement is a bit murky in its phrasing. Is this what you meant to say, that “every form of social interaction is connected” or were you trying to restate the point that interaction is at the center of Simmel’s theory or something else?

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