SOC B43 Lecture 11

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15 Apr 2012

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Group Expansions
Intersections of social circles
Metro and Mental Life
Tragedy of Culture
Conflict of Culture
Talked about different kinds of individualism last class. He wanted to not the things that produce this
idea of individuality. The first two, group expansion and intersections of social circles focus on that.
Group Expansion
You will see different types of people the larger the group gets, ex: Aristocrats, Lawyers, Merchants,
Peasants, Workers etc. Not everyone is the same, you’re not as directly defined as your background.
And now Aristocrats from different places now have things in common. As group sizes get bigger, you
can have a social life based on your job, what you do. This is how group expansion creates new types of
social relationships.
A second thing that happens shifts around personal and collective individuality. In the small group ,
there isn’t a lot of room for you to develop your own likes and ambitions, everyone knows what you’re
doing, can’t really try new things. But at the same time, it is a very unique group. So all small groups are
very unique and individual in a collective sense but within the group they are all the same. In big groups,
each one is kind of the same. But each individual within the group is very unique and individual.
Small = High collective, Low Personal
Large = Low collective, High Personal
Individualism and Cosmopolitan (Citizen of the world)
Cosmopolitanism feeling more connected to the universe rather than your home town
Christianity is a good example of cosmopolitanism. Spoke of the individual. Once Christianity came
along, each person could make a decision on their own, they didn’t have to convince a group, so there
was massive world conversion.
Intersecting Social Circles
Everyone in the town is from the same country, from the same religion, same job. Function of the group
they’re in.
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