SOCB43 Lecture 11
Definition: 3 from Simmel, 1 from Mead, 3 from, Weber/Durkheim
Short Essay: Simmel, 1 comparative question
Tutorials tomorrow!! Office hours on Monday, Tuesday
Intersection of Social Circles
Definition: Degree to which any group/social circle overlaps with others
-More intersection, overlap, the higher the sense of uniqueness and individuality
-Social development is a movement from ascription (parts of yourself that are simply
given to you by birth) to achievement (make you make of yourself)
-Achievement – you develop your own thins and seek out for relationships with people
who are similar to you in terms of goals, achievements, etc (universities were created
based on culture/nationality based. Modern universities are based on modern disciplines
that one studies)
-Ascription – you live where everyone knows each other, you don’t change yourself a
-How do people become to think of themselves as distinct from their ascription OR from
everyone else in all?
Ex. what is a marriage made up of?
Modern Version: Parental family of both sides (husband, wife) produced a founded family.
Husbands and wives tend to have different jobs, roles, hobbies, interests, usually children etc. no
‘me’ determined by the circles you are in.
Pre-Modern: not over lapping circles but concentric circles (circles within circles). In regards to
the individual, anyone in one family can be explained in the same way as another (same family
structure, same city, religion, job, etc).
More circles one is involved in, less likely for more than one person to belong to the same set.
Concentric circles allow for similarities.
Nothing can be taken for granted; you are involved in so many things (ex. I’m Catholic and
can be nothing but a Catholic) (ex. you are Catholic but you explore other religions – your
membership is not automatic, but thought out and used to find out something about yourself).
Ex. Classes + Nationality + Regions = something bigger that leads to distance, sophistication;
allows them to judge because they are no longer a part of it; have rituals to reaffirm their beliefs;
intense solidarity/connectedness because they all gave up something.