When trying to compare three social theorists to each other, you must first try to understand the intricacies that are entangled within each theory itself. Theorists, by nature, create theories that can be debated from all angles but must be a tight fit in order to be considered applicable to society. Theology as a single entity is constructed from deep intellectual thought. When social theorist begin to develop there theoretical perspectives, they seem to have an overwhelming grasp on the concepts they try to convey to us. Since it is extremely difficult to have such a complete strong hold on social issues such as family, politics and economics, it is important to know and understand the basic principles that underline the theories we study. To compare the theories of Georg Simmel, Vilfredo Pareto, and George Herbert Mead, I will first discuss the basic strengths and weaknesses of their theories.
Simmel was a conflict theorist who sought to investigate “pure or formal sociology” by trying to understand the societal forms themselves. Pure sociology refers to the investigation of the forms of interaction that underlie political, economic, religious, and sexual behaviors. Simmel was inspired by social differentiation and he was interested in the change that urbanization, industrialization brought to society (Li, Lecture). Unlike the work of Mead and Pareto, Simmel’s theories were non traditional and his topics varied throughout societies many issues. Simmel thought that by focusing on the basic properties of interaction, per se, that sociology could discover the underlining processes of social reality (Turner, P.265).
Simmel’s web of group affiliations is a sociological analysis of how patterns of group participation are altered with social differentiation and the consequences of such alterations for people’s everyday behavior (Turner P. 268). People become attached to certain groups because of similarities of talents, inclinations and activities and other factors of which they have some control. Simmel first talked about this in his social differentiation which is seen by most as not being very use full in its early stages.
Simmel saw society as Sociation /Association. He was interested in how people get connected. He saw society as a web of intricate multiple relations between individuals. He said society was merely a name for a n...
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...thoughts on economics and positivist thinking, Simmel gathered his thoughts on social differentiation by extensive reading and his own way of not interacting with his intellectual peers, while Mead was heavily influenced with the intellectual perspectives of his time. In contrast, each one of these theorist brings it own intellectual perspective to the study of sociology. Simmel’s thoughts on web affiliation contradict the views of Pareto’s in that Pareto thought that the individual’s relationship to society was not as important as the society’s effect on the individual. Meads view on the individual role taking determining the structure of social forms is in contrast to Simmel’s ideals on web affiliation in that society is structured on individual relationships with others not associations with one’s mind or self.
Understanding the theories of these classic theorists is of huge importance because it was the beginning of intellectual thought and all of their views on society and such were mostly original and unedited. To compare the theories of the three aforementioned theorists is to first comprehend there analysis of society and to appreciate the value of there conflicting views.
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