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Analysis Of George Simmel's The Metropolis And Mental Life

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Throughout the semester Professor Beck covered an array of topics that dealt with the history and evolution of urban space in a sociological perspective. One of the first topics that was covered in class was the topic of human ecology. Human ecology is the study of human relations in their natural, social and built environments. Human ecology has particular relevance to this course because urban space has been a part of human life since the day humans started to roam the earth.
The city has been evolving for the better since the times of widespread disease and famine that once hit “urbanized cities” during the industrial revolution. During the 1800’s diseases like typhoid, cholera and tuberculosis impacted people in a way where it was expected
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The shift from rural life to metropolitan life leaves a person being bombarded with new external and internal stimuli; since there is a constant shift in the city a person develops a “protective organ” or a buffer to protect him or herself from the constant changing city life. The concept of the protective buffer is incased in a cold-mindset where the person refers to reason and logic instead of concern for emotional significance; this is where the blasé outlook comes from because a person develops an apathetic outlook on their environment. The numbing to the metropolitan environment leaves the person incapable to react to such stimuli and that leaves them without the required energy to try to form close relationships with others like in a rural community. Simmel states that the economy of money created a mental dullness to people because they develop relationships on the value of money. The blasé outlook is illustrated in the text by explaining how the uniqueness and incomparability is lost because it is looked at the monetary value instead of a personal one where the commodity has deeper meaning, like in a simple economy. The blasé attitude is also affiliated with the wealthy because the activities they partake in, items they purchase and people they surround themselves with devalues their personality. The personality the wealthy form is surrounded by a quantity of expensive belongings in an expensive lifestyle. Saying this Simmel was not complaining or condoning the blasé outlook but trying to understand it because he understood that environments shape the social structure of human