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He also analyzes other sociological perspectives as shall be seen in the latter sections. His theory as presented in The Stranger potentially fits under what one may refer to as philosophy of sociology given the style employed. Writing in the early later years of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century, one may observe that his sociological context was originally possibly aimed at addressing the social issues of the time, especially individual role in a group (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, 2002, p. 31). Even so, his works have defied the hands of time to remains relevant until the current age. Georg Simmel was one of the early sociologists that wrote widely in the field of sociology. He was a German by citizenship. Although Georg Simmel has been widely accredited for his contributions in sociology, one may observe that he approached the discipline from a philosophical perspective, sometimes making his readers to read between lines to decipher what exactly he intended to put across (Cuff, 2006, p. 49). Some of his works have adopted an almost similar style used by another German sociologist by the name Kant. Like Kant, Georg Simmel also adopted a style that starts by questioning about the aspects he intends to study then proceed to provide answers to them. Some of his works includes The Problems of Philosophy of History Fundamental Questions of Sociology, On The Spatial Projection of Social Forms amongst other publications. In his work The Stranger, Georg Simmel analyzes selected sociological situations in everyday life and reflects then to the reader through the concept of a stranger and distance (Marotta, 2005, p. 12). Although many sociologists have used the concept of The Stranger since its publication, one may observe that the interpretation has been remarkably different and largely varied. Perhaps this is because Georg Simmel employs a philosophical approach in significant sections. In fact, one may observe that his analytical methods appear to share the concept of “appearance and reality” as propounded by French philosopher Rene Descartes. Even so, his methods do not dilute his sociological perspectives (Descartes, 2011, p. 34). One should note in advance that the author uses the concept of the group and stranger in reference to various sociological interactions in the society. Such could be institutions, organizations or work places. It is also essential to mention that the concept of a stranger in a group has been used to imply someone who does not belong to the inner circle of a given group. It represents someone who must adjust since he/she appears to be new to the group depending the closeness and ties within a group. He/she is a stranger in the sense that his/he relations with the group can only be formal, which give him/her some outstanding qualities from the inner circle (Niezen, 2004, p. 45). Summary Analysis of The Stranger In the article The Stranger, Georg Simmel begins by analyzing group dynamism through the concept of The Stranger. He observes that sometimes for groups to grow and have something new, they should focus on the external environment and on external sources. Simmel observes that groups tend to be formed from amongst acquaintances and that only an outsider to the group can bring something new to the group. He also observes in what he calls the unity of nearness and remoteness that human relations are always in such a way that they keep relating to those who are away as well as with those who are near. The author also observes that groups are likely to benefit from embracing diversity. This is because new members, who as usual may be perceived as innocent, contribute positively to the group through eliminating biasness and promoting consistent interaction (Cohen
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Georg Simmel and Walter Benjamin were famous and interesting German philosophers who lived at the end of the 19th and in the beginning of the 20th centuries. They both contributed a lot in philosophical and sociological approaches concerning urban culture and the human position in contemporary economical, political and cultural conditions.