A Great Sociologist

A Great Sociologist

CONFLICT, by Georg Simmel. Free Press. $3.50.

The name of Georg SimmeI is barely known in America, and that only among professional sociologists. This is a pity, since Simmel is one of the handful of eminent European sociological theorists whose work remains alive and significant. At a time when most of what passes for sociological theorizing consists either of painstaking investigations into the obvious or elaborate and formalistic system-making, it is particularly valuable to have Simmel’s essay on Conflict translated into English.

Georg Simmel was born in Berlin in 1858, the son of a prosperous Jewish businessman. His Jewish origin blocked the successful academic career that would other...

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