SOC B43 Lecture 10.docx

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15 Apr 2012
School
Department
Course
Professor
LECTURE 10
Simmel
Social forms: Conflict, Hierarchy, Sociability
Social Types: The Stranger
Freedom + The Individual
Group Expansion
Intersection of Social Circles
Social forms: Conflict
Conflict is a major topic in sociology. A lot of people study it.
He wasn’t interested in why conflict occurred, doesn’t think conflict necessarily will break things apart,
or make people fall apart. He thought there were two sides to everything. It can be disassociating and
associating aspect. Being in conflict with someone is being in a kind of relationship with them you are
not in an indifferent relationship with them. You care about them, which is why you’re fighting with
them. Conflict itself is neither good or bad. Groups have conflictual elements that pull it together and
pull it apart.
1) Conflict and integration
It can have a positive or negative function. He says every social unit has both conflictuous and
harmonious elements. Often conflicts and competitions hold people together, and make people
drawn to it. Ex: Sports competing with other teams. Marriage We have an image that in an
ideal marriage, people never fight. No way! (LOL When you get married you’re basically picking
who you want to fight with for the rest of your life) If you start freaking out when you have a
fight and want to break up, then you have a weak relationship. It is healthy to fight in a marriage
it brings people together. Workplace too.
2) Two Levels of Unity
1) Unity as opposite to conflict
2) Unity that includes both
Can think of life in this way. Life death, or life as a process including both life and death.
Kind of metaphysical ways of thinking about it.
3) Conflict for itself
The whole purpose of a group is to create conflict. Creates opportunities to get together to
fight. (Ex: UFC)
4) Temporal Dimensions
Order in which the conflict unfolds.
a. People who start out in a conflict who have high animosity towards each other, will have
a better bonding experience later.
b. People who start out in a close loving relationship, then you get in a conflict, the result
can end up in a more hateful relationship.
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