Blog # 11: Simmel “Sociability, Stranger, Fashion, the Metropolis and Mental Life”

Sociability is very interesting in a sense that we as people in a modern world want to engage and interact with other people for the sake of connection. He states that our sociable conversation (talking) is the end in itself. An example of conversations being the end in itself is talking to classmates in your class or co-workers at work because you do not want to be socially awkward. In addition, there is other kind of sociability that epitomizes both things that everyone tries to do when they are interested in someone: flirting (coquetry). Flirtation is an erotic form of play “which finds in sociability it’s lightest, most playful, and yet its widest realization” (Edles & Appelrouth, 299). The female that is doing the flirting is trying to deny and consent hints together to draw the man on without letting matters come to a decision “to rebuff him without making him lose all hope” (Ibid, 299).  At the end the female decided to continue flirting or to stop all interaction with the man and ended. It is very true today that men and women do all these types of things to get what they want like (I do not know if it is a good example but) in bars there are women who hang in there to find a good man to be with but they do not seek what they are looking for.

“The stranger” that Simmel describe as “remote” or “indistinct” because there are some qualities that we share are general but that is the extent of the relationship. By saying the extent of the relationship is because there are things that we share such as, nationality, gender or race. Also this means that the stranger is not seen as a person (individual) but a as a person with particular characteristics that makes him different (similar to the type of person is). In addition the stranger is able to perform duties that the groups are unable to because they are “unfit”. The stranger is somewhat part of the group but in the outside the stranger has brought a positive contribution that is depended by the group. One example that Simmel mentioned was the European Jews and the traders.

Simmel ideas of fashion are the expression of individualism and make one distinctive of others. He mentioned that the individual will wear clothing that is trending and they are just following the latest fashion. Also, fashion cannot be vogue as Simmel mentioned because people adopt to fashion that is in and if you just want it to be vogue is to not allow general population do not adopt them. I think that it is interesting that some fashions that are in become to ‘last season’ (which Simmel mentioned that it goes dead). Fashion is another type of distinction class because the high class would have the up to date fashion and the lower class, which does not have enough money to pay for fashionable clothing. Fashion is indistinctive in different classes in society and another way to separate people by classes. In modern society there are people (it does not matter what classes you are in) who seeks fashionable items that is trending and they will go to affordable outlets or store to get that. (In my personal sense of fashion, I just wear what I like and would be ok with what body style I have.)

The Metropolis and mental life is the views on money and the psychological effects on individual level and other relationships. I think that in a fast past city as New York we try to gain the best job to gain the life we are able relax and have free time. Living in a metropolis world we have to live with everything that we do daily. We as people invest in all happenings and encounters that make up our own life. One thing that is important is that money is something is that is already standard in our daily life or our satisfaction of what we get from how much we have. The more money we have the more of how we are able to express ourselves and more relationships come about through money (which in doubt to me it is not a real relationship because people are just want to be with you for money). As what I can see from the reading Simmel wanted to show us the reader that in a metropolis society we are corrupt people in the level of individual and human spirit. In modern world and even in society in history do not like to communicate with people who are not good enough for people for high status (such as lower class or beggar class). I know that money represent in power but sometimes that money (if it has power) could help people who are struggling to live normal as possible. I think that people with money should help people in need and what I think Simmel was trying to say in my own words is that money corrupts the people because they strive for high position in society and stomp anyone that gets in away and form relationship with people to get connections. 

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