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The complete collected works of Georg Simmel are now available. Yet, the standing of Simmel’s sociological theory is still a subject of controversy. Is Simmel only a brilliant impressionist, a flâneur in the territories of modernity?
Providing an illuminating and coherent presentation of Simmel’s sociological theory, The Challenge of Modernity seeks to demonstrate how Simmel contributed a structured sociological theory that fits the criteria of a ‘sociological grand theory’. Indeed, starting by the theory of modernity and its dimensions of social differentiation, monetarisation, culture reification and urbanisation; it reconstructs the architecture of Simmel’s sociological epistemology. Particular attention is dedicated to the theory of ‘qualitative societal differentiation’ that Simmel develops within his cultural sociology, with the late work being presented as a double contribution to the foundation of sociological anthropology and to the social ethics of complex societies.
Presenting the entirety of Simmel’s manifold oeuvre from the viewpoint of its relevance for sociology, this comprehensive volume will appeal to scholars and advanced students who wish to understand Simmel’s relevance for socio-political thought and become acquainted with his contribution to sociological theory. It will also be of interest to the wider public who seek a critical assessment of our age in theoretical terms.