Simmel, Georg (1858–1918)

Georg Simmel is a German sociologist and philosopher whose work has been influential on the Chicago tradition of sociology and has recently been rediscovered by scholars of consumer culture. His production is vast, and besides pure philosophical works, he wrote two key texts in sociological theory, often called the Große Soziologie and the Kleine Soziologie, as well as fundamental works on money (Philosophy of Money), metropolitan lifestyles, and fashion (“The Metropolis and Mental Life” and “Fashion” in On Individuality and Social Forms). Simmel's approach to sociology can be seen as a reflexive attempt to reject the organicist theories of August Comte and Herbert Spencer. Like Max Weber, Simmel favored an idiographic and interpretive method, namely, one concerned with historically situated events and human subjectivities, ...

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