"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."
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.
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