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Ferdinand Toennies
 Two contrasting forms of social life. The
foundation of the Gemeinschaft or "community"
is the Wesenville. Conceptualized at the societal
level, Gemeinschaft consists of social
relationships of intimate or primary sort, of
family, club, or religious order. Predictably, type
of law that prevails in such an order will be that
based on informal codes of family and kin, and
social control will be left to consensus, custom,
and religious precept.
Ferdinand Toennies
 Wealth is centered in the land, individual is
subordinate to collectivity, and central
institutions are those of family, small village,
and town. Remember that relationships,
sentiments, and rules of Gemeinschaft are
willed for their own sake.
 Given momentous changes of his era, Toennies
acknowledged the ascension of the Gesellschaft.
The creation of the rational will, "society,"
represents the more impersonal means-to-an-end
forms of social relationships. These are marked by
the purposes of exchange and reasoned
calculation. At the group level, Gesellschaft
relationships are exemplified in business or
professional associations. At the societal level,
the state and the economy of industrial
capitalism supplant the centrality of the family,
kin, and village.
 Law is a matter of formal contracts, both civil
and criminal, secured by legislation and
specifying rights and responsibilities of
individuals to individuals and members to
commonwealth. Public opinion and
conventional wisdom replaces heritage,
articles of faith, and "natural" consensus as
informal means of social control.
Last of ‘Big Four’
Simmel: Group size
 Sociologists interested in group size look at
varying qualities of interaction based on size.
 Georg Simmel introduced analytical
categories for thinking about groups.
 As group size increases . . .
 Intensity decreases
 Formal organization increases
 Stability and exclusivity increase
Simmel: The Stranger
 The stranger is being discussed here, not in the
sense often touched upon in the past, as the
wanderer who comes today and goes
tomorrow, but rather as the person who comes
today and stays tomorrow. He is, so to speak,
potential wanderer: although he has not
moved on,he has not quite overcome the
freedom of coming and going.
Simmel: The Stranger
 He is fixed within a particular spatial group, or
within a group whose boundaries are similar
to spatial boundaries. But his position in this
group is determined, essentially, by the fact
that he has not belonged to it from
beginning, that he imports qualities into
it,which do not and cannot stem from group
Simmel: The Stranger
 The unity of nearness and remoteness
involved in every human relation is
organized, in the phenomenon of the
stranger, briefly formulated by saying that in
the relationship to him, distance means that
he, who is close by, is far,and strangeness
means that he, who also is far, is actually
Simmel: The Stranger
 For, to be a stranger is naturally a very positive
relation; it is a specific form of interaction. The
inhabitants of Sirius are not really strangers to
us, at least not in any social logically relevant
sense: they do not exist for us at all; they are
beyond far and near.
 Of the four great types of interaction-competition, conflict,accommodation, and
assimilation--competition is
elementary,universal and fundamental form.
Social contact initiates interaction. But
competition, strictly speaking, is interaction
without social contact. If this seems, something
of a paradox, it is because in human society
competition is always complicated with other
processes, that is to say, with conflict,
assimilation,and accommodation.
Robert Park and Plant Simile
 It is only in the plant community that we can
observe process of competition in isolation,
uncomplicated with other social processes.
The members of a plant community live
together in a relation of mutual
interdependence which we call social
probably because,while it is close and vital, it
is not biological.
Robert Park and Plant Simile
 It is not biological because relation is a merely
external one and plants that compose it are not
even of same species. They do not interbreed. The
members of a plant community adapt themselves to
one another as all living things adapt themselves to
their environment, but there is no conflict between
them because they are not conscious. Competition
takes the form of conflict or rivalry only when it
becomes conscious, when competitors identify
one another as rivals or as enemies.
Competition and Control..
 Conflict, assimilation and accommodation as
distinguished from competition are all related to
control. Competition is process through which
distributive and ecological organization of society
is created. Competition determines distribution of
population territorially and vocationally. The
division of labor and all the vast organized
economic interdependence of individuals and
groups of individuals characteristic of modern life
are a product of competition. On the other hand,
moral and political order, which imposes itself
upon competitive organization, is a product of
conflict, accommodation and assimilation.
Competition and Conflict
 It is only in periods of crisis, when men are
making new and conscious efforts to control
the conditions of their common life, that the
forces with which they are competing get
identified with persons, and competition is
converted into conflict.
Accommodation, Assimilation, and
 Accommodation is the process by which
individuals and groups make necessary internal
adjustments to social situations which have
been created by competition and conflict. War
and elections change situations.
 When changes are decisive and are accepted,
conflict subsides and the tensions it created are
resolved in the process of accommodation into
profound modifications of the competing units,
i.e., individuals and groups.
 Assimilation, as distinguished from
accommodation, implies a more thoroughgoing
transformation of the personality—transformation
which takes place gradually under influence of
social contacts of most concrete and intimate sort.
Assimilation takes place not so much as a resultof
changes in the organization as in the content, i.e.,
the memories,of the personality. The individual
units, as a result of intimateassociation,
interpenetrate, so to speak; and come in this
wayinto possession of a common experience and a
common tradition.
Parks Typology
 Competition
 The economic equilibrium
 Conflict
 The political order
 Accommodation
 Social organization
 Assimilation
 Personality and the cultural