Thursday, February 19, 2009

Interaction is Society according to Simmel

Simmel describes society as existing in social "forms" of interaction. These interactions are basically categorized by the characteristically similar types of forms that constitute the form or "type" of societal interaction. Think of all the ways you have interacted with society on a daily basis for the last year. They are really just repeat performances with different characters and details. For instance, going to classes with different professors, with differing teaching styles and techniques. They tend to following similar patterns of lecture, reading, and writing assignments. We know how we are to "act" in the interaction with every professor because we have previously experienced this form of interaction.
Individuals in society are like actors in the never ending play called life. We all play various roles in each interaction we are involved in, and we are all very familiar with the roles and the meanings or significance of the interactions.
How does Simmel use his concepts of the "I" and "me" to describe the way that individuals internalize or feel the influence of society?

1 comment:

  1. Although individuals are free and creative spirits, urban life today expects individuals to play a variety of roles. So are we all just actors? Well Simmel argues in order to meet society’s expectations one must confine to the rules or choose freedom and be alienated. So in this play so called “Life”, we are producers through our every moments, actions and interactions. We view ourselves through the eyes of others and sometimes from people we don’t even know. This is just how much influence society has on individuals. So do we build our environment or does it build us? In this time of decade our environment is building us, we may choose to run off and be free but as mentioned earlier society casts people off for not subjecting to the rules.