Bringing together the work of scholars from across Europe, this book shows how Simmel's categories can be used to explore contemporary issues and further shed light on trends characteristic of global modernity. Thematically organised around the major societal challenges currently faced by developed countries – those of making societies that are inclusive, reflexive and creative, sustainable, and democratic societies – it examines diverse phenomena, such as living in an increasingly multicultural societies, the social exclusion of vulnerable ethnic groups, the increasing concern with cyberbullying, the need to fight climate change, the rise of political populism, and the recruitment of youths from western countries to Islamic religious fundamentalism. Drawing on Simmel’s sociological theory and expounding new approaches to research inspired by his work, this volume emphasises the conceptual pillars of Simmelian thought, meanings, processes, and forms. As such, it will appeal to scholars of sociology and social theory with interests in the work of Simmel and its contemporary relevance.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Inclusive Societies 1 Building a Bridge of Justice: Simmel’s View to Overcome Otherness Towards an Inclusive Society 2 Real Bridges and Mental Borders: In an Ethnically Mixed Transylvanian Community 3 Roma/Ciganos and the Condition of Internal Strange in Portuguese Society: The Construction of Otherness 4 Social Cohesion through Outside Threats and Multiple Identities: Simmel’s Legacy in the Analysis of Social Conflicts Part 2 Innovative Societies 5 Contemporary Insights into Simmel’s Approach to Nature 6 Back to Simmel: A New Approach to Third-Party Reproduction 7 Simmel’s Formal Sociology and the Risk of Mass Society 8 The Simmelian Digital Metropolis: A Cultural Perspective on the Internet Age Part 3 Reflective Societies 9 Simmelian Concept of Life and Life-Capital in Biocapitalism 10 Spirituality, Science and Dissonances of Modernity – In Dialogue between Simmel and Weber 11 Religiosity and the Law of the Individual: Converts to Islam and the Search for the Authentic Self
Pedro Caetano is an integrated researcher at the Interdisciplinary Center of Social Sciences of the New University of Lisbon, Portugal.
Maria Manuela Mendes is Professor in the Instituto de Ciências Sociais e Políticas, Universidade de Lisboa and researcher at Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia, Iscte—Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Portugal.