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SOCIOLOGY, AESTETHICS & THE CITY
di V. Mele (Ed. 2011 Pagg. 282)
edito da Edizioni Plus - Universita' di Pisa
The book is examining the fruitful, though admittedly unusual, relationship between sociology, aesthetics and the ‘urban dimension’. Sociology should accept the challenge that comes from the current “epistemological insecurity” of the postmodern age and try to re-think itself as a form of knowledge. In this sense – as has always happened in the history of human thought – the realm of art and aesthetic sensibility can provide a fertile ground for freshening up our “sociological imagination”. Building on the bases established by the many greats of sociology – Georg Simmel in particular – each of the contributions to this book seeks to focus on some specific aspects of the complex relation between sociology, aesthetics and city life. The book is divided into two parts, characterized by a broad thematic ‘bent’. In the first part, entitled “Sociology, Aesthetics & Theory”, the writings engage theoretical and practical topics related to Georg Simmel’s “sociological aesthetics”. The second part of the book, entitled Aesthetics, space and everyday life in the cities, explores topics of “sociological aesthetics” applied to understanding the aspects of everyday life in urban settings. It includes contributions of international scholars from America, Australia, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Romania.
level and diªer from one another only in the size of the area which they cover. In the individual case this coloration, or rather discoloration, of things through their money equivalence may be unnoticeably minute (Simmel 1971: 326).
However, such an analysis does not entirely bring out the homogenizing eªects of money on material things as well as products of the spirit: thanks to a ‘tragic’ sensibility towards the ambivalence and the contradictions inherent in social processes, Simmel is able to highlight the paradoxes characterizing the ‘monetary culture’ and cultural objecti¶cations in general10.
Apart from the last, conclusive chapter of the Philosophy of Money, Simmel also devoted the 1908 essay entitled ?e Problem of Style to a phenomenological analysis of ‘lifestyle’. As in all his essays whose titles contain the word ‘problem’ (?e Problem of Sociology, 1894;
Fundamental Problems of Philosophy, 1910), also in this case Simmel seeks to reveal a ‘paradox’, that is, the existen...
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