Georg Simmel and Walter Benjamin - Essay Example

Only on StudentShare

Extract of sample
Georg Simmel and Walter Benjamin

Georg Simmel lived in Berlin the most part of his life, and this fact of his biography predetermined his views on modern urban life. In his best-known essay, The Metropolis and Mental Life Simmel “analyzes individual life in the context of modern, metropolitan life, contrasting the social forces and structures of urban life with those of traditional rural and small town settings”. In this work, Georg Simmel underlined that in conditions of the modern city and urban society an individual can successfully develop his skills and abilities, as the economic and political situation of modern and post-modern community promotes individual freedom and flexibility. But in the other hand in modern urban society an individual is under pressure of numerous factors and restrictions, as “the metropolis is a site or location for social life where the larger structures, forms of contact, and forces such as the money economy threaten ‘the autonomy and individuality’ of the individual”. So, the situation in modern urban cities leads to the new politics of vision, when an individual has to perceive everything from the point of view of modern urban experience. Simmel underlined that “the city conspires to erase difference by assaulting the individual with an overwhelming and never-ending stream of visual stimuli”. This vision is inherent to the spacing theory of scientific rationalism, modern and post-modern experience which fills the space with giant cubic forms suppressing the consciousness of people and their freedom. ...
Download paper


This paper demonstrates both authors’ positions on modern and post-modern urban experience and a new politics of vision, new understanding of modern city and mass media influence on human life. The philosophical and sociological views of Simmel and Benjamin differ from each other in some aspects…
Author : estebankuphal

Related Essays

What is the Taboo Thesis? The works of Gorer, Walter, Moller and Cline.
This phobia against death has made people avoid discussing death in public and today it has become a taboo, like pornography was in the medieval ages. Sociologists and thinkers such as Gorer, Moller and Cline have studied the subject in great detail with solid research and study and have recognized the changed behavior of people towards death. Instead of accepting its existence and getting on with the reality that we have to leave this world one day, people deny death and this is reflected in their behavior towards death rituals and gatherings. Discussing about death or the deceased person is...
7 pages (1757 words) Essay
Answer the questions
It influences the moral thinking and behavior an individual, such as the action to avoid killing or harming another person. The Golden Rule may be universal, but it also has its own limitations, such as distinguishing in advance what is right and wrong. The Golden Rule has also been applied in the business world by many successful businesses. The J. C. Penney Co. Inc. applies the Golden Rule as the company’s moral guide and principle especially in the aspect of dealing with their customers. Also, the Lincoln Electric Co. applies the rule through its Incentive Management structure. Through...
5 pages (1255 words) Essay
Georg Hegel
He saw the problems that were prevalent in Scotland and England and considered whether these problems could be avoided in Germany. In addition, he showed concern as to what had happened to the European promise of enlightenment. Because of Germany’s perceived backwardness, Hegel was able to see a distinctive angle to most of these questions. After studying the works of the Scots, he contended that the two countries were outside and inside a developing civil society. Vital for him was a comparison with an idealized view of the Polis in Greece where there was harmony contrasted with the modern...
6 pages (1506 words) Research Paper
The Concepts and, Myths of the Modern World
The followers were called Rationalists. The Utopians strive to banish from memory the dark struggle against feudalism in pursuit of revolutionary principles, and a new class of the industrial commoner is conceived by the application of the enlightened sciences. The concepts of Degeneration and Regeneration operate on the basis of an assumed mutual-understanding of order and chaos, function and malfunction, the normal and the pathological. It is closely associated to the ethical realm of norms and values. The concrete, spatial transgression of boundaries (between the house, the garden, the...
13 pages (3263 words) Essay
Works of Karl Marx and Georg Simmel
The so-called "commodity fetishism," as Marx (1976) tell us, is the fact that a "definite social relation between men themselves' assumes here, for the, the fantastic form of a relation between things, [or] to the producers' the social relations between their private labours appear' as material relations between persons and social relations between things." (p. 165) This concept was conceived wherein humans are the real actors whose social relationality was obscured in the reified commodity form. (Brah & Coombes 2000, p. 116)
10 pages (2510 words) Essay
The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Walter Benjamin
The sense of originality has lost by use of pictures as compared to paintings. According to Benjamin, the reproducible film represents a historical shift that many audiences might fail to notice. Benjamin noted that the work of art reproduced mechanically has intervened to fill the void left by loss of aura. For instance, the loss of authority by the original work of art has been compensated by the use of a camera. Cameraman can direct the viewers eyes towards specific places and stories, as a result of being radical, revolutionary and totalitarian. Mechanical reproduction has introduced...
1 pages (251 words) Essay
Got a tricky question? Receive an answer from students like you! Try us!