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City and Modernity in Georg Simmel and Walter Benjamin

Fragments of Metropolis

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  • © 2022


  • Explores a classic topic in social and cultural theory, the metropolis, as conceived by Simmel and Benjamin
  • Brings in scholarship in English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian for the development of urban reality
  • Provides a comprehensive and comparative overview of Simmel and Benjamin’s theories of modernity

Part of the book series: Marx, Engels, and Marxisms (MAENMA)

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About this book

This book reconstructs and compares the social theories of modernity of Georg Simmel and Walter Benjamin, two classic thinkers in German social thought. The author focuses on five main topics: the historical-sociological method through which they investigate modernity; how are the concepts of history and society possible; the consequences of modern metropolis on the construction of individual subjectivity; the aestheticization of everyday life caused by the expansion of commodity culture; and the female culture as a counter-power to the domination of masculine objective culture. In the decades since Simmel and Benjamin, urban reality has undergone profound changes and we may even question the very existence of the subject of analysis: what is the city, the metropolis in today’s context of globalization and capital flows? Simmel’s and Benjamin’s metropolis has thus become an “endless city," beyond the physical and geographical confines of urban reality.

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Table of contents (11 chapters)

  1. City and Modernity in Georg Simmel

  2. City and Modernity in Walter Benjamin

Authors and Affiliations

  • Political Science, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

    Vincenzo Mele

About the author

Vincenzo Mele is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Pisa, Italy. His research focuses on the history and sociology of modernity, social theory, critical theory, social imaginary and cultural industry, and ethnography.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: City and Modernity in Georg Simmel and Walter Benjamin

  • Book Subtitle: Fragments of Metropolis

  • Authors: Vincenzo Mele

  • Series Title: Marx, Engels, and Marxisms

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2022

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-18183-2Published: 13 January 2023

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-18186-3Published: 13 January 2024

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-18184-9Published: 12 January 2023

  • Series ISSN: 2524-7123

  • Series E-ISSN: 2524-7131

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: IX, 396

  • Topics: Political Philosophy, Political Sociology, Sociological Theory, Social Theory, Urban Studies/Sociology

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