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By David Lee
'This is a wonderful advent to the subject...The authors' target is to combine idea, technique and examine findings and this they do very effectively' - British booklet information 'David Lee and Howard Newby are to be congratulated on generating this type of stimulating introductory textual content' - community 'While designed with undergraduates in brain, the matter of Sociology may be stimulating studying for lecturers at different degrees' - instances schooling complement it is a vintage introductory textual content for first 12 months scholars. It offers either an creation to 'classical' conception and an exam of the methods those theories light up current social difficulties. The authors reject the convential 'institutional' method of sociology which starts off with the family members and strikes on via schooling, group and paintings. as an alternative they reassert an important matters raised by way of the heritage of sociological inspiration and reveal their modern relevance.
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Extra resources for The Problem of Sociology
In his essay published in 1903, entitled ‘The metropolis and mental life’ (1950), Simmel applied some of Tönnies’s insights to urban society, which, in keeping with the nineteenthcentury Romantic tradition, he viewed with thinly veiled hostility. ’ (Simmel 1950, p. 409). Simmel attempts to examine the process by investigating the relationship which the city promotes between the individual and the urban world in which he or she lives. Simmel argues that the individual adapts to city life by cultivating a unique kind of personality and that this ‘mental life’ was shaped by social forces beyond the existence of the single individual.
4 These apparently impersonal factors provoke a number of personal consequences. They produce that which, for Simmel, is the prevalent feature of urban life—the blasé outlook. The constantly shifting stimuli and the pace of urban living produce so many different and varied experiences that the individual becomes satiated and hence blasé. ’ 5 Because of the lack of face-to-face contact with known individuals the predominant urban demeanour is a formal ‘reserve’—something which, Simmel suggests, is little more than concealed aversion.
Redfield and Wirth were concerned to see urbanization as a process which changed the structure of social relationships. It was these social relationships which really concerned them and formed the basis for their theorizing (for example, Wirth’s reference to size, density and heterogeneity) rather than urbanism/ruralism per se. Until at least the mid-1960s (see Frankenberg 1965) this proved to be an enduring idea in sociology, perhaps because it corresponded so well with the prevailing common-sense view that there was indeed something intrinsically different about social relationships in the city compared with those in the countryside.