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Op wandel in de grootstad: een schets van de moderne samenleving in Simmeliaans perspectief

Tom Claes (UGent)
Author
Organization
Abstract
In this article we present a condensed systematization of Georg Simmel's ideas about the mental and social life in a metropolis. In the fust part of the article we give an overview of Simmel's ideas about what constitutes the basic forms of mental life and social relationships in the metropolis: cynicism, the 'Blase', reserve and aversion. We will then present a systematization of the basic causes of these phenomena. There are three of them. The fust cause is physiological. City life is hectic. One has to cope with a high level of stimulation. Because of this, some 'shut down' their system in a defensive reaction. The second cause has to do with the mental and social impact of money and the money economy. The essence of money is quantification. When money becomes more and more important, the quantity of things takes precedence over quality. A third cause is the high level of individual and social differentiation The metropolis is a highly differentiated environment. People's lives are rooted in a variety of social circles. A high level of internal and individual differentiation parallels this social differentiation. This makes it very difficult to build a unified personality. But this is no problem in modern society. Owing to labour division, we only mobilize one aspect of ourselves at a time. We do not interact with each other with our whole personality. Furthermore, these differentiations increase our freedom in social interaction. I conclude this article with some remarks on the value of Simmel's analysis of city life.
Keywords
Metropolis, Simmel, City, Sociology

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Claes, Tom. “Op Wandel in De Grootstad: Een Schets Van De Moderne Samenleving in Simmeliaans Perspectief.” TIJDSCHRIFT VOOR SOCIALE WETENSCHAPPEN 39.4 (1994): 357–383. Print.
APA
Claes, Tom. (1994). Op wandel in de grootstad: een schets van de moderne samenleving in Simmeliaans perspectief. TIJDSCHRIFT VOOR SOCIALE WETENSCHAPPEN, 39(4), 357–383.
Chicago author-date
Claes, Tom. 1994. “Op Wandel in De Grootstad: Een Schets Van De Moderne Samenleving in Simmeliaans Perspectief.” Tijdschrift Voor Sociale Wetenschappen 39 (4): 357–383.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Claes, Tom. 1994. “Op Wandel in De Grootstad: Een Schets Van De Moderne Samenleving in Simmeliaans Perspectief.” Tijdschrift Voor Sociale Wetenschappen 39 (4): 357–383.
Vancouver
1.
Claes T. Op wandel in de grootstad: een schets van de moderne samenleving in Simmeliaans perspectief. TIJDSCHRIFT VOOR SOCIALE WETENSCHAPPEN. 1994;39(4):357–83.
IEEE
[1]
T. Claes, “Op wandel in de grootstad: een schets van de moderne samenleving in Simmeliaans perspectief,” TIJDSCHRIFT VOOR SOCIALE WETENSCHAPPEN, vol. 39, no. 4, pp. 357–383, 1994.
@article{241369,
  abstract     = {In this article we present a condensed systematization of Georg Simmel's ideas about the mental and social life in a metropolis. In the fust part of the article we give an overview of Simmel's ideas about what constitutes the basic forms of mental life and social relationships in the metropolis: cynicism, the 'Blase', reserve and aversion. We will then present a systematization of the basic causes of these phenomena. There are three of them. The fust cause is physiological. City life is hectic. One has to cope with a high level of stimulation. Because of this, some 'shut down' their system in a defensive reaction. The second cause has to do with the mental and social impact of money and the money economy. The essence of money is quantification. When money becomes more and more important, the quantity of things takes precedence over quality. A third cause is the high level of individual and social differentiation The metropolis is a highly differentiated environment. People's lives are rooted in a variety of social circles. A high level of internal and individual differentiation parallels this social differentiation. This makes it very difficult to build a unified personality. But this is no problem in modern society. Owing to labour division, we only mobilize one aspect of ourselves at a time. We do not interact with each other with our whole personality. Furthermore, these differentiations increase our freedom in social interaction. I conclude this article with some remarks on the value of Simmel's analysis of city life.},
  author       = {Claes, Tom},
  issn         = {0040-7615},
  journal      = {TIJDSCHRIFT VOOR SOCIALE WETENSCHAPPEN},
  keywords     = {Metropolis,Simmel,City,Sociology},
  language     = {dut},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {357--383},
  title        = {Op wandel in de grootstad: een schets van de moderne samenleving in Simmeliaans perspectief},
  volume       = {39},
  year         = {1994},
}