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Georg Simmel on Individuality and Social Forms (Heritage of Sociology Series) [Paperback]

Georg Simmel , Donald N. Levine
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 15, 1972 0226757765 978-0226757766
"Of those who created the intellectual capital used to launch the enterprise of professional sociology, Georg Simmel was perhaps the most original and fecund. In search of a subject matter for sociology that would distinguish it from all other social sciences and humanistic disciplines, he charted a new field for discovery and proceeded to explore a world of novel topics in works that have guided and anticipated the thinking of generations of sociologists. Such distinctive concepts of contemporary sociology as social distance, marginality, urbanism as a way of life, role-playing, social behavior as exchange, conflict as an integrating process, dyadic encounter, circular interaction, reference groups as perspectives, and sociological ambivalence embody ideas which Simmel adumbrated more than six decades ago."—Donald N. Levine

Half of the material included in this edition of Simmel's writings represents new translations. This includes Simmel's important, lengthy, and previously untranslated "Group Expansion and Development of Individuality," as well as three selections from his most neglected work, Philosophy of Money; in addition, the introduction to Probleme der Geschichtsphilosophie, chapter one of the Lebensanschauung, and three essays are translated for the first time.

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Donald N. Levine is the Peter B. Ritzma Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago. He is the author of The Flight from Ambiguity: Essays in Social and Cultural Theory, Greater Ethiopia: The Evolution of a Multiethnic Society, and Wax and Gold: Tradition and Innovation in Ethiopian Culture, all published by the University of Chicago Press.

Product Details

  • Series: Heritage of Sociology Series
  • Paperback: 412 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (February 15, 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226757765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226757766
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressionist Sociology! November 5, 1998
By A Customer
Georg Simmel's social thought having being neglected for several decades, experiences a revival since the early nineties. A reason for this may be traced in his "gifted" - almost literary - style and in his breadth and vision regarding the state of modern urban culture. The collection of Simmel essays assembled in this volume by Donald Levine, covers a wide variety of the topics with which Simmel was preoccupied during his lifetime. One will find here Simmel's seminal work on social types, particularly on the "stranger" and the "poor". Simmel's brilliant essays on the "conflict in modern culture", the "tragedy of culture" and on the modern metropolis are included constituting essential reading for those who apart from a sociological perspective wish also to gain an aesthetic view of social reality. Simmel's intellectual roots are manifold. One can trace them back to Kant and Hegel but equally to the existentialist thinkers Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. Many of the arguments raised by Simmel in these essays bear the marks of the aforementioned philosophers while others sound incredibly relevant for today's (post)modern culture (for example the essay on "fashion" and on the "conflict in modern culture". The reader of this volume is introduced to Simmel's thought through an excellent and scholarly essay by D.Levine which also locates Simmel's sociology in the American intellectual context (i.e Parsons and Park). This collection has become a classic among Simmel scholars and it provides essential reading for sociologists and philosophers alike.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cosmopolitanism in Missouri December 20, 2007
I had the opportunity to see Georg Simmel lecture at the Kiwanis Club in Hannibal, MO, the year before he passed away. I was only four years old at the time, but one of my earliest memories concerns his heavy tweed coat, his pince-nez, and that peculiar little accent of his, especially when he laughed. He was a fragile man: the archetypic scholar whose physical faculties emaciate as his mind grows ever stronger. I held his hand as we posed for a photograph at the urging of my father--long since lost--seated at the base of the statue I recall as "Justice Descends on the Countryside." The audience was not aware at that time that he was to die of syphilis a year later, likely contracted through contact with a prostitute or female "groupie" along the same tour (ironic given his own writings on prostitution). Because of the place where I was raised, I do not think I appreciated the urban forms of life Simmel was speaking about. It was only years later, living in Southern California during the entry of the United States into World War II, that I began to recall my adolescent copy of his essay called "The Metropolis and Mental Life." As a black man living alongside the interment of the Japanese-American community, I observed the ease with which others simply went about their daily lives and allowed racism and disposession to take on a shocking normalcy. I did not understand what I was seeing nor was I self-empowered enough at the time to speak out. I did later think of Simmel's essay. This connection was reinforced again years later when my academic daughter introduced me to the writings of Franz Fanon at the tail end of her graduate studies. A revelation! I believe Simmel was the first to write about a type of violence or indifference, a daily violence we all live by. Read more ›
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Adoration of Simmel April 8, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Georg Simmel is, without a doubt, my favorite of the founding fathers of sociology, and this book has some of his best essays in the field. Love it!
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