The text below was originally published under the name “Eros and Modernity: Simmel on Love” in: The Sociology of Emotions: Original Essays and Research Paper. Franks, D.D. and E. Doyle McCarthy (ed.). Greenwich, CT: JAI press, 1989, pp. 229-247. In the words of its author, the text was written at a time when he was intensely engaged with Simmel, working on his philosophy of history and his hermeneutics. Today, Guy Oakes revisits this text and allows Simmel Studies Journal to republish it for this special issue on love. The text explores in its first part the defining characteristics of erotic love according to Simmel: individuality, reciprocity, immediacy and radicalism. In the second part he concentrates on modernity and how it has had an impact on love relationships.
The aim of this essay is to analyze the sociological study of emotions produced by Georg Simmel, with specific attention to the concept of love. The article is structured as follows: in the first part, what could be defined as ‘Simmel's sociology of emotions’ is presented through a descriptive and interpretative analysis of the constructed social theory; in the second part, the focus shifts to love as emotion, emphasizing its tragic character within the construction and destruction of the social bond. Finally, in the third part, a comparison with the sociological analysis of love produced by two contemporary researchers such as Eva Illouz – love as a result of the dynamics conveyed by ‘emotional capitalism’ – and Danilo Martuccelli – love as an ‘emotional imperative’ of contemporary daily life - will be produced. The common thread of the entire essay is exactly the tragic character of the emotion of love, which allows both the construction and the destruction of the social bond, through an ambivalent interactional game that seems to have no end.
This paper focuses the attention on Simmel’s selected writings on women, love and gender relations. This paper is structured as follows. The first section focuses on the image of woman presented by Simmel. Although his arguments sound “old fashioned”, he gives a positive evaluation of woman. The second section is devoted to the analysis of the gender relations that has led to woman subordination. The third section analyses Simmel's idea of male-female relationships based on the domination/subordination paradigm. The last section shows how Simmel's work devoted to this topic can drive our researches today.
The main purpose of this article is to re-examine the legacy of Marx and Simmel for the study of romantic love from a feminist perspective. I am interested in the relational legacy these two authors provide for the study of the affective sphere. Specifically, I am interested in highlighting how both offer analytical inputs to consider the relationships between love, power, and conflict. I attempt to answer the following questions: What do Marx and Simmel postulate when they talk about love? What is the complementary contribution of their proposals considering recent studies on love from a feminist perspective? While Marx allows us to incorporate the socio-structural and historical level – specifically the material dimension –, Simmel allows us to incorporate the social process and symbolic exchange – specifically the cultural dimension – to think about the affective dimension of social ties and love as social bond. I consider that from this analytical and political perspective, the Marxist-Simmelian legacy provides a thought-provoking program for the relational analysis of affects, emotions and love.
In this article, we reflect on the importance of the work of the German sociologist and philosopher Georg Simmel (1858-1918). We focus on reflections about love in certain mobility processes. Starting from a theoretical discussion about love in the Simmelian work, we unfold it to think about love in contexts of broader mobility. The Simmelian love, therefore, serves as an analytical basis that articulates the experiences of people in different geographical areas. Starting from the idea of frontier and limitation, we situate this analytical reflection in the contemporary pandemic context, when mobility and the lack of it also became more complex. Reflecting on love, in the midst of this sanitary crisis context, this discussion becomes extremely necessary and, in this aspect, Simmel proves to be a revealing author when it comes to the existing possibilities. His work contributes to the understanding of certain processes of interaction and mobility. In addition, we aim to review the notion of foreigner developed by Simmel, and think, to what extent, it is applicable to understand the dynamics inherent in the crossings between love and mobility. In the scenario of contemporary affective relationships, it is emphasized how much Simmel’s work is still fertile to comprehend certain feelings, emotions and perspectives. In the transnational context, in which time and spaces are constantly resized through access to new information, communication technologies and possibilities for creating and maintaining diverse bonds, the Simmelian perspective can very much lead us to a better interpretive notion of love in a context of mobility and immobility.
This paper brings together two of the key theoretical concepts attributed to Georg Simmel – the notion of the ‘stranger’ (the person who is not indigenous to a social context and perpetually seen as possibly not belonging) and ‘love’ as socially constructed which has the potential to turn an individual love into a notion of ‘super individual couplehood’ unifying two individuals and transforming them in the process. Based on in-depth qualitative interviews with 35 people in ‘mixed’ couples, this paper examines how loving the stranger is constructed, maintained and challenged across cultures, languages, races, and nationalities.
The main purpose of this text is to address two crucial aspects of Georg Simmel's work: the originality of his sociological approach, as well as his conception of love feelings. To undertake this task, I will take as a frame of reference a fundamental cultural construction of his time, romantic love. I will try to show that although some of Simmel's ideas about love can be seen as a product of the prevailing mentality, others do not fit with this imaginary, and in my opinion, they are avant-garde and post-romantic because they freely propose different parameters to think, feel and engage into amorous relationships.