Simmel Modern Individual

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Beatrice Ajighevi
March 13, 2013
Berlin
Irene
According to Simmel, the development of a protective, rational barrier has a profound impact on individuals living in a metropolis. A modern individual becomes indifferent, the “blasé outlook” becomes a consequence of the urban mind-set which results in a larger degree of personal freedom, they are freed from prejudices, develop a cosmopolitan attitude which develops a greater degree of personal freedom and struggle to maintain their personality and preserve their unique inwardness in a metropolis. The metropolis does differ significantly from the upbringing of a rural town. While living in a metropolis, the modern individual is constantly bombarded by a constant change of stimuli on a daily basis, “In order to adjust itself to the shifts and contradictions in events, it does not require the disturbances and inner upheavals which are the only means whereby more conservative personalities are able to adapt themselves to the same rhythm of events. Thus the metropolitan type creates a protective organ for itself against the profound disruption with the fluctuations and discontinuities of the external milieu that threaten it”. Unlike those of a more rural setting, whose daily activities are more common, ritualistic, and expected, the modern individual deals with rapid change in a very short amount of time. In order to cope with these constant shifts, one develops a “protective organ”. The metropolitan encounters so many individuals, the protective organ allows one to not deal with each person on an emotional or personal based level. Especially in a money based economy, personal relationships are nearly impossible. The modern individual becomes indifferent to all things personal because intellectual relationships deal with others specifically for self-gain and how can other help ones advancement. One must deal with others in a matter-of-fact attitude. People are no longer treated based off of personality or their...
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