I Sociologi e la Guerra. Lo scambio epistolare Simmel-Small fra propaganda e definizione di campo


  • Vincenzo Romania Università di Padova



Parole chiave:

History of sociology, Sociology of intellectuals, Simmel, Chicago School of Sociology


From a sociological point of view, the First World War is significant for two reasons: on the one hand, because of the massive involvement of intellectuals in the propaganda and public debate of all the countries involved [Mommsen 2000]; on the other hand, because it engaged the classics of sociology: Durkheim, Weber, Simmel, Töennies, Sombart, George Herbert Mead, among others. In this article, we will focus in particular on the correspondence Georg Simmel had with Albion Small between the summer and autumn of 1914, i.e. at the dawn of the First World War. The episode has not so far aroused substantial interest among historians of sociology, but it is nevertheless useful to understand how global events as such bring out major tensions to the representatives of the discipline, engaged in a complex relationship of interdependence [DeFleur Ball e Rokeach 1970, tr. it. 1995] between three fields: the political, the journalistic, and the broader academic field [Bourdieu 2010]. Reflecting on this episode thus allows a more extensive understanding of the kind of disciplinary reconfigurations [Elias 1978] that such events produce in the relationship between social problems and sociological problems [Kitsuse and Spector 1973] and the reconfigurations that affect intellectuals within and outside the academic field. The point of view adopted is the ecological one [Abbott 2005]. The positions of Simmel and Small will therefore be contextualised within the broader intellectual and political communities in which the two intellectuals participated.

Biografia autore

Vincenzo Romania, Università di Padova

Vincenzo Romania è professore associato in Sociologia all'Università di Padova. È stato redattore di diverse riviste sociologiche e segretario (2017-2020) della Sezione AIS di Teorie Sociologiche e Trasformazioni Sociali. Attualmente coordina una ricerca europea su House and Employment for Roma People. Ha pubblicato e curato diversi libri e articoli sulla teoria sociologica, con un particolare focus sulla sociologia americana. La sua ultima pubblicazione è il saggio “COVID-19 and the Transformations of the Interaction Order: Patternization and De-Ritualization of Social Interactions” in J. M. Ryan (ed.), COVID-19: Cultural Change and Institutional Adaptations (Routledge, 2023).



2023-06-27 — Aggiornato il 2023-06-27