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SOCIOL 2S06 Lecture Notes - Georg Simmel, George Herbert Mead, Oberlin College

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David Young

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A. Analysis of domination
1. Domination exerted by an individual, a group or a principle
(1) Group can be under the domination of an individual
Subjects in a kingdom obey their monarch
This situation fosters within the kingdom as they form strong bonds -
Their monarch and their alegiaance to their monarch
An individual can be under the domination of a group
(2) That individual fallows the rules under the domination of those who
run the company
An allegiance to the monarch has emotional connection, but the worker
simply fallow the rules
Much more impersonal and much less emotion faceless committee
there is no attatchment and is simply fallowing rules cuz he/she has to
(3) An individual or a group can be under the domination of a principle
Here we have a citizen obeying laws in the society
This exists due to the spread of bureaucracy
Due to its objective rules and norms
This interested weber
B. Analysis of conflict
o Another form of social interaction Simmel was interested in this
o (1) Conflict can have positive consequences
o (2) conflict over impersonal interests can be especially intense
o Ths is the case when pple are struggling over some kind of principle or idea such as
nationalism that can generate wars and revolutions
o (3( conflict between groups can generate solidarity within groups
o As conflict elcaltes each side will try to eliminate differences within their groups
o At the same time they will try to highten differences between their group and the
o They are going to look for things that will bring them together
o (4) conflict between those who have common qualities and a strong sense of solidarity
can result in bitterness and hostility
o When the solidarity within the group breaks down, it can start another conflict
o For example, group has developed solidarity but then they discover that there has been
a traiter, the harmony has not been broken and that is going to generate hard feelings
o (5) conflict between those who have common qualities can be especially evident in
intimate relationships
o Here you see the relationship between love and hate, and suggests that in some cases
those relationships can begin out of hate and then turn to love
C. Analysis of interaction in groups
o The size of groups can shape social interactions within groups
1. Dyads made up of two people
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Ex. Friendship, marriage, business partnerships
Will not exist any longer if one of the two decides to break the dyad
There is no indepeddant structure of its own
Each person must be fully commited to fulfilling that relationship
There needs to be trust and closeness
This involves the need to share personal thoughts, feelings or at least
Only going to continue as long as both people are satisfied
Sometimes there are formal rights and rules that are in existence
Gives dyads more stability and durability
Marriages and business partnerships are certainly dyads that are
actually recognized by the government and courts
2. Triads
Made up of three people
If one person decides to leave, the group will survive
The group could reform itself as a dyad or it can replace another
member and reform
They have rules or goals
Coalitions - instance when certain members could be forced to go along
with the rules of the group
This happens when 2 members join forces against the third
Enterance can change things from a dyad to a triad
Ex. Two best firneds get close to a third, or parents have a kid
3. Small groups
Made up of four or more groups
The size of the group does have implication for the interactions
Unity comes from face to face interaction and intimacy
There are informal rules
To deal with disunity
To control the behaviour or deviant members
Ex. Street gangs are bound with close ties and loyalty
They do try to control conflict among their members
4. Large groups
Due to the size, the social interaction changes
This includes corporations, political parties and other bureaucracies
These large groups unity does not come from sharing personal
feelings or having face to face interactions
Instead the unity comes from formal rules and specialized duties
A sense of freedom among members that does not always exist in small
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