SOC WRITING ASSIGNMENT FIVE
Assignment Five I had a real-life experience with the concept that the society comprises of a web of patterned interactions, which Georg Simmel advanced. I was in a dyad before the group turned into triad after a third party joined my friend and I. To a large extent, most of the attributes that Georg Simmel attributed to a dyad were evident during my interaction with a childhood friend. Notably, long-term relationships and a feeling of belonging characterized my dyadic relationship. The relationship was intense, as well as, intimate. In fact, my friend’s actions and words affected me and vice versa. Additionally, sharing of emotions, thoughts, and goals typified my dyad. Each member shared the other’s attention with anyone else, and a sense of constraint did not exist. Simmel argued that a dyadic relationship tends to differ from the other groups in that only one other as opposed to collectivity confronts the two participants (Abrahamson 177). Parties in a dyadic interaction do not perceive themselves as having superstructure that extends beyond them. As described by Simmel, the dyad group was vulnerable to mood fluctuations.
The triad that formed after another party joined us exhibited the qualities that Simmel has put forth. In a triadic relationship, each element operates as an intermediary between the other two, and presents the twofold function of uniting and separating the group (178). Simmel asserted that a third member tends to change the way the two participants relate. The inclusion of the third party to the dyadic relationship disrupted the closeness as pointed out by Simmel. Simmel acknowledges that a third participant can be a unifying or separating factor (178). In our case, the third party lessened the level of intimacy in the relationship. I regarded the third party as an intruder since she shared certain moods that irritated the relationship. It is difficult for three people to attain a uniform feeling. The disturbance and distraction affected the immediate and pure reciprocity that characterized the dyad. In fact, the third party was the cause of the tertius gaudens . A notable case was when my former participant in dyad conflicted with the third party over some funds we had saved to visit a Museum. I supported my friend, and I benefitted after the third party withdrew her intentions to accompany has in the Museum. I had purposely spurred the conflict between the two after third party proved to be a separating force in our relationship.
A stranger is a potential wanderer who has yet to overcome the freedom of coming into a group or going out of the group (181). The stranger emphasizes the Simmel’s claim of the unit of closeness, as well as, remoteness exhibited in human relations. Hence, passivity and detachment characterize the stranger. I remember Benjamin was a stranger to our group as he exhibited the qualities that Simmel describes. Benjamin could not form any meaningful sociological interactions due to the intermittent short time we spend with him. Benjamin’s closeness to the group members was arguably loose as he used to spend a few moments with us. Strangers do not have strong ties with the other group members because strangers do not feel as part of the group due to the casual connections with each member (181). Benjamin tendencies to withdraw from the group and loose connection fit the Simmel’s description of a stranger.
Abrahamson, Mark. Classical Theory and Modern Studies. Introduction to Sociological Theory. New York: Pearson, 2009. Print.