Blog #5 Simmel

Simmel has a very interesting viewpoint on the idea of sociability. He describes a basic form of communication between two people in which there is no reason for the conversation besides the simple pleasure of having the conversation. At first I thought this viewpoint made perfect sense. Many of us have conversations with people on a daily basis for the simple pleasure of the human interaction. The conversation may start by complimenting an item of clothing, or by simply commenting on the weather. Yet the more I thought of this concept, the more I thought of my every day life. I have many random conversations with people I do not know/do not know well. It’s how you meet friends. Yet do we truly have conversations just for the sake of having them? I’m no so sure. We all have talked to a person sitting next to us in class, yet it’s usually to pass the time. We may talk to someone when we are alone at a bar waiting for a friend, yet that is to pass the time. Do I believe you can have a conversation for the pleasure of the conversation? Of course, yet it is hard to say that there is no motivation for that conversation to start.

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4 responses to “Blog #5 Simmel

  1. I agree with George Simmel’s viewpoint on sociablility because it is a form of communication between two people who don’t know each other and try to get to know each other if that person is interested. I have experienced this in my everyday life. When I am in school or hanging out with friends I would think about how am I gonna start a conversation and keep it going to have everyone interested in the discussion. I believe that conversating is a good thing because it will build some kind of confidence in you and lead to a friendship or relationship with someone.

    • I think that most people probably take the same approach — seeing conversations as a means to build trust and relationships. Simmel might say that by being so ‘goal-oriented’ in the way that we socialize, we’re missing out on the pure pleasure of sociability (e.g., maybe we ‘rule out’ interactions with all kinds of people who we decide aren’t ‘in it for the long haul’; in other words, we think ‘long-term’ rather than live ‘in the moment.’)

  2. Insightful comments. I think you’re right — most of our ‘conversations’ are probably not pleasurable, insofar as they take the form of ‘small talk,’ by which I mean talk meant just to pass the time…then again, sometimes this may turn out to be pleasurable, unintentionally. And that’s the key, that the interaction not be goal-oriented, a means to some ultimate end.

  3. Since most of our time is spent in either school or working I figure that we have conversations because we have to. Its almost a survival tactic. We talk to other students or professors to gain insight into the class, we talk to our bosses or co workers about our jobs. It just doesn’t seem like about pleasure.

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