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From Breiger's "The Duality of Persons and Groups" (available on JSTOR):

"Simmel (1955) entitled one of his essays "The Intersection of Social
Circles," but Reinhard Bendix changed the title in translation because "a
literal translation on this phrase... is almost meaningless... Simmel often
plays with geometric analogies; it has seemed advisable to me to minimize
this play with words..." (Simmel 1955:125). For an assertion that Simmel's
original title is not at all inappropriate, see Walter's essay "dualism"
inherent in Simmel's thought, see essays by D. Levine, Lipman, and Tenbruck
in Wolff (1959). A similar metaphor was put forward in America by Charles H.
Cooley (1902:148), who wrote that "A man may be regarded as the point of
intersection of an indefinite number of circles representing social groups,
having as many arcs passing through him as there as groups." Much later,
Sorokin (1947:345) observed that "the individual has as many social egos as
there are different social groups and strata with which he is connected." On
the "much neglected" development of the concept of "social circle" since
Simmel's writings, see Kadushin (1966)"

Jorge Peña <[log in to unmask]>
IMA, Université de Lausanne

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