Lars Clausen

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    Ferdinand Tonnies is the sociologist who constructed two basic categories of social relationships. He did so through comparing premodern and modern social worlds. The first category of relationships is “Gemeinschaft”. “Tonnies called these emotion-based relationships.” (Page 16) Gemeinschaft relationships are formed from a close emotional bond between one another. Family, significant others, childhood friends, siblings, and your best friend are all examples of Gemeinschaft. That’s the rule for a relationship to be placed in this category; the relationship is held together and rooted by emotions and pleasure. Many people in the modern world may not have a Gemeinschaft relationship with their family members. My own understanding is that Gemeinschaft is a category that describes the connection between the people, rather than who the people are. The interaction between two people in a Gemeinschaft relationship is very different from those in the category two relationship, “Gesellschaft”. Why? Well, emotions are love, respect, sorrow, compassion, and more. For example, a relationship between a mother and daughter could be a good image of Gemeinschaft. Not every daughter may have a close emotional bond with their mother, but I know I do. I’ve known my mom since I was born. She has fed me, cared for me, loved me unconditionally, forgiven me when I have been bad, shown me grace, and so much more. I enjoy and continue to invest in our mother/daughter relationship not because it’s…

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