German School of Sociology - History of Sociology

German School of Sociology

If for the French school the main themes of the study were the division of labor, collective consciousness and solidarity, religion and suicide, the historical dynamics of society, then for the representatives of the German school of sociology such were the alienation of labor, rationality and bureaucracy, the evolution of capitalism and the development of society, social institutions and communities, motivation of economic behavior. The main representatives of this school are outstanding German scientists G. Simmel, F. Tennis and M. Weber.

At Georg Simmel (1858-1918), author of more than 30 books on the philosophy of culture, sociology, ethics, aesthetics, history of philosophy, the greatest influence was the ideas of the German historical school (with whose representatives he supported personal contacts), the teachings of Karl Marx (this is felt in Simmel's main work, The Philosophy of Money), the philosophy of life (the late period of Simmel's creative work), and, most importantly, the views of the German philosopher I. Kant (the doctoral thesis of Simmel and numerous works by methodology).

Considering the dynamics of culture, Simmel suggests a global scheme of its development, which describes the process of the endless generation of new cultural forms by life. Over time, the latter ossify, becoming a brake on the further movement of life, and therefore replaced by new forms doomed to survive the same fate. The development of culture passes through confrontation and conflict of opposing principles - content and form, soul and spirit, subjective and objective cultures. The tragedy of culture is the ineradicability of this contradiction. Life itself as an unformed beginning resists a culture that embodied the principle of form in general. Hence the beginning of formal sociology, the basic concepts of which are the "content" (historically determined goals, motives, motivations of human interactions) and "form" (a universal way to implement and implement historically variable content). Human society is a strange mixture and interaction of form and content.

An important category in his teaching was a value that, as a fundamental relation, determined all other relationships in society. Above the world of concrete existence, Simmel believes, the world of ideal values ​​rises, which builds a completely different hierarchy of things and relationships than the one that exists in the material world. Two worlds - the material world (the world of things) and the ideational (the world of values) co-exist as intersecting universes, as two dimensions of the same world - here and here at the same time.

In Money Philosophy (1890) G. Simmel undertook a profound analysis of the influence of money relations and the division of labor on social reality, human culture and the alienation of labor. He examined the modern industrial world, the migration and training of the workforce, the differences between mental and physical labor, the relationship of leadership, domination and subordination, the exchange of money on the exchange, the mechanism of the exchange and use value, and finally the problems of social and group differentiation.

The money category served G. Simmel with the magnifying glass, thanks to which it was possible to better consider the hidden mechanisms of social life, social labor in its normal and pathological forms. Through the categories labor & quot ;, alienation & quot ;, values ​​ G. Simmel goes on the phenomenology of capitalism. The emergence of money destroys the personal character of the relationship between people. Their place is occupied by anonymous, impersonal relations. This seemingly negative moment in social evolution has unexpected positive consequences - along with monetary calculation and anonymity, human rationality or rationality is invading human relations.

Sociological Workshop

Check out the additional literature and compose a written 4-5 page essay about the relationship in G. Simmel's teachings of the categories labor & quot ;, alienation & quot ;, values.

The rationality that has penetrated the sphere of business entrepreneurship forms a completely new type of person - fundamentally open to alienation and monetary calculation. His subjective world is unprotected against the inexorable logic of objectification. Money is a symbolic measure of the equality of people before nonexistence. In pure form, money first reflects the value relationship of things (chronologically before people began to compare and evaluate two things with each other as two goods), and then they penetrate into the world of human relations and become a measure of people's value attitude. Money equates people (negative equality) as producers or consumers of things created by human labor. As the thing from the goal turns into a means of achieving something, the worker is increasingly alienated from the product and means of labor.

Simmel contributed to the development of sociological analysis of the city, religion, cognition, his ideas were reflected in philosophical anthropology. G. Simmel and M. Weber have developed a fundamentally new methodology for social cognition, having accomplished a kind of Konernikan revolution in sociology. With them, and even with E. Durkheim, it, in fact, begins as a strict scientific discipline.

The sociology of Ferdinand Tennys (1855-1936) is one of the first experiences of building a system of formal, pure categories of sociology that allows you to analyze any social phenomena in the past and present, as well as trends in social change. He divided sociology into a general and a special one. The first should study all forms of human coexistence, including bioanthropological, demographic and other aspects common to the forms of social life of animals. The second, subdivided into pure (theoretical), applied and empirical (sociography), studies social life itself.

Society-community ratio

Fig. 16.1. Society-community ratio

In his main work "Community and Society" ("Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft", 1887) Tennis proposed later became the classical typology of sociality: community (community), where directly dominates personal and family relations, and a society dominated by formal institutions. Subjects of relations of kinship are the family cell: mother and children, brothers and sisters, father (different types of relationships and positions in the family). Along with the family, community and community relations include neighborhood and friendship. The subject of public relations is the person - the object of formal legal relations. A person is an external mechanical unity, defined by an external, random way (Figure 16.1).

A lot of persons are able to make up a system and constitute a "fictitious person" represented by a meeting or a separate individual. If communal relations assume "higher self," then the public is "artificial face". Hence the difference between the main economic and legal categories. In the first case (community) it refers to "possession", "land", "territories", "family law", in the second (society) - about "property", "money", "binding" ; (commercial) law. Here also Tennis adds the opposite of status and contract (contract).

Speaking about the dynamics of society, Tennis believed that communal sociality in the course of history is increasingly being replaced by social sociality. This opened the way for the analysis of morals, law, family, management, village and city life, religion, state, politics, public opinion, etc. Over time, Tennis has included in its typology additional features: the density of social communication, the number of participants, the cooperating or competing nature of the relationship - resulting in a very detailed scheme that is fully reflected in one of the latest works - "Introduction to Sociology" ; (1931).

The most outstanding representative of the German school, no doubt, is Max Weber (1864-1920), with the ideas of which we have already met.

Sociological Workshop

Prepare a detailed story (4-5 pages) about the role of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft F. Tennys in understanding the evolution of human society.

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