His father, Eduard Simmel, a convert to Roman Catholicismhad founded a successful chocolate factory, Felix und Sarottilater Sarotti Confections, and was a prosperous businessman. His mother came from a Jewish family who had converted to the Lutheran Church. Georg himself, was baptized as a Protestant when he was a child.
A stranger is not a wanderer, who may come today and leave tomorrow.
He comes today—and stays. He is a potential wanderer: He remains within a specific place, but he has not always belonged to it, and so he carries into it qualities that do not, could not, belong there. The stranger is a paradox: The way this distance and apartness form a sense of closeness and togetherness calls for some explanation.
Throughout the history of economics, the stranger has usually been a tradesman and the tradesman a stranger. As long as the economy is limited to the direct exchange of products within a closed system, there is no need for intermediaries.
When people travel to foreign places to buy what they need, they become foreign tradesmen in those regions. Historically, tradesmen have necessarily been strangers.
But an economic system with a division of property and production on demand will offer a living to the tradesman who settles there.
Trade is always capable of reaching more people than primary production. It is the preferred area of engagement for the stranger, since he enters the system as a supernumerary, after all other economic niches are filled. The history of the European Jews offers a classic example.
By definition, the stranger is not a landowner. Though the stranger may come to be on intimate terms with many of his neighbors, he is perceived as being of a mobile, unstable character because of his dependence on intermediary trade, which often becomes sublimated into pure money trade—i.
This mobility, which occurs within the confines of a given community, contains the synthesis of closeness and distance that formally constitutes the stranger. He comes into contact only with individuals, and is not organically connected to familial, local, or occupational networks.
Since he is not rooted in the particularities and biases of the community, he stands apart from it, in an attitude of objectivity. This is not an aloofness that lacks involvement but rather a curious combination of closeness and distance, of detachment and engagement.
And the objectivity of the stranger leads to another phenomenon: Objectivity, remember, is not non-engagement; it is rather a positive and specific kind of engagement, much like the objectivity of a theoretical observation, which does not turn the mind into a passive tabula rasa upon which objects merely become imprinted.
Objectivity suggests an active mind operating at its fullest capacity according to its own laws. Such a mind ignores random variations and accentuations that are particular and subjective and that would deliver radically different images of the same object.
Objectivity is also a kind of freedom.
The objective person is not constrained by predispositions that would prejudice his perception, his understanding, or his judgment. During rebellions of any kind, the attacked party frequently claims that the rebels have been incited from the outside by foreign envoys or agitators.
His actions are not bound by habit, piety, or precedent. Finally, the combination of closeness and distance that endows the stranger with objectivity finds another, psychological, expression:"The Stranger" is a sociological essay by Georg Simmel that describes the role of the stranger in society.
In the essay, Simmel explains how the stranger is neither the "outsider, a person who remains separate from society, nor the wanderer, a person who travels from place to place without ever establishing relationships with others.
The Stranger is an essay in sociology by Georg Simmel, originally written as an excursus to a chapter dealing with sociology of space, in his book Soziologie. In this essay, Simmel introduced the notion of "the stranger" as a unique sociological initiativeblog.com: Sociology.
Dec 03, · Georg Simmel's "The Stranger" Hilary Philips has pointed out to me the similarities between my last post and some ideas in Georg Simmel's essay "The Stranger," which I had not read before.
Simmel writes of a stranger who does not come and leave, but rather one who comes and stays. This paper critically evaluates Simmel’s Stranger theory by giving an overview of the theory’s concept.
It reviews other sociological literature build on the Stranger theory and finally provides a judgment on the applicability of the theory.. source. “The stranger’ is but one of the many concepts which contemporary sociologists have received from the fertile mind of Georg Simmel. The sociological form of the stranger’ reveals Simmel’s love of the paradox by emphasizing a mixture of .
Oct 29, · Simmel was one of the first generation of german sociologists: the idea of the stranger was such a important topic to simmel sophomore essay prompts that he even wrote an essay titled “the stranger” that has gotten a lot of attention although the stranger is a spatial member of the group, in that he is physically present, simmel explains.