Reason of Sociology: George Simmel and Beyond

Sociology has long lacked the sense of propulsive direction that it possesses in the 1960s and early 70s. The subject has fragmented in a series of interlocking fields and sub-disciplines. Is there a way of revitalizing the subject? Where can we look for guides to build a sociology that combats fragmentation, constantly unites the micro with the macro level, and provides a holisitic view of society? This book argues that the sociology of Georg Simmel is the most promising resource to accomplish these ends. Although Simmel was rediscovered in the 1980s his advice for the design of the subject and the professional necessities for 'doing good sociology' were neglected. Simmel's analysis of money, the state and the press showed how sociologists might approach the analysis of subjective behaviour that arises from social forces that appear to be arbitrary and impenetrable. Written with a clear eye upon both the needs of contemporary sociologist's and international dilemmas facing the world today, Pietila's book is intended to make a professional and civic contribution. This is a compassionate and stimulating book that will help readers to make sense of their worlds and the worlds of others.

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