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The Theoretical Ideas of Simmel

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David Young

The Theoretical Ideas of Simmel February-14-13 6:51 PM B. View of Sociology and Society 1) Problems with Sociological Theory 2) Social Interaction and Society 3) Analysis of Everyday Life 4) Forms of Interaction and Types of Interactants C. Analysis of Domination 1) Mutual Influence in Relations of Domination 2) Domination Exerted by an Individual, a Group, or a Principle 1. the group can be under the domination of an individual -- the subjects in a kingdom obey their monarch (group under domination of individual --> this situation fosters unity among the subjects in the kingdom because they form strong bonds with each other) 2. an individual can be under the domination of a group --> a worker (individual) who follows the rules that are set down by those who run a company (group) ; impersonal and unemotional situation --> domination is stemming from what is essentially a faceless committee 3. an individual or a group can be under the domination of a principle --> laws that have been set down in a particular society and citizens who have to follow them; this sort of situation exists due to the existence of bureaucracy that's objective was rules and procedures that have to be followed in a very impersonal way D. Analysis of Conflict 1. Simmel made the point that conflict can have positive consequences -- it (can) lead to the resolution of tensions in groups 2. Conflict over impersonal interests can be especially intense --> this is the case when people are struggling over some principle or idea, such as nationalism, this can generate wars & revolutions 3. Conflict between groups can generate solidarity within groups --> as the conflict escalates, the group will eliminate differences within their group; at the same time, they will heighten differences between their group and the opponent --> gonna look for things that bring the group together/unify them and eliminate personality and other differences and generate solidarity 4. Simmel argued that conflict between those who have common qualities and a strong sense of solidarity can result in bitterness and hostility 5. Conflict between those who have common qualities can be especially evident in intimate relationships; in some cases, relationships can begin out of hate and turn into love ( a passionate love emerges); however, there may not be conflict at first but conflict can emerge -- fall in love and then fall out of love E. Analysis of Interaction in Groups *One of Simmel's points, when it came to groups, is that the size of groups can shape social interaction within groups 1) Dyads: made up of two people; ex/ friendships, marriages & business partnerships * a dyad will not exist if one of those people decides to leave -- means that each of the people in the dyad has to be fully committed to continue the relationship, if the dyad is going to survive - in order for this dyad to exist, there is going to have to be trust and closeness --> this involves the need to share personal thoughts, feelings or at least goals (with business partners); dyad is only going to survive as long as both people involved are being satisfied (no satisfaction = easy disintegration of the dyad) - sometimes there are formal rights and rules that are in existence; these try to give dyads more stability and durability or at least to set out the rights of people if they decide to end the association [ex/ marriages and business partnerships are certainly dyads but are dyads that are actually recognized by the gov't and courts] 2) Triads: made up of three people; interesting fact about tria
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