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Approaches to the Individual: The Relationship between by Athanasia Chalari (auth.)

By Athanasia Chalari (auth.)

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Extra resources for Approaches to the Individual: The Relationship between Internal and External Conversation

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Every person has specific concerns or priorities in everyday life, but also in life generally. Individuals make their own way through life according to these priorities. For example, if a doctor’s profession is important to him, this might lead him to perform the role of doctor to the highest standard; this is what Goffman calls ‘embracement’ of a role. These priorities, however, are not purely social constructs, as Goffman suggests. I will support that each individual has a degree of freedom and independence (as Simmel suggests), according to which each individual forms her inner personal priorities and hierarchies.

As I have shown, Simmel seeks to demonstrate the connection between inner freedom at the micro level and social situations at a macro level. His attempt to approach society through the individual and the individual through society offers unique means of understanding the interface between each individual’s characteristics and wider social phenomena. He explains the importance of freedom on a personal level, and shows that the same personal characteristics remain vital within a wider social situation.

Simmel, 1950: 385–386) Here, Simmel appears to be making a distinction between the individual’s inner life and the individual’s life in more general terms. He describes the inner life as a process that consists of some elements, like thoughts and moods, which are internal private elements that belong to the inner cosmos of the individual. These thoughts and moods can be interpreted as elements of internal conversation, according to my definition of it in this work. For Simmel, these elements or processes constitute elements of what he construes as inner life, which comprises of elements that may also be understood as components of internal conversation.

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