Theories Of Flirtation

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In the field of sociology including Aristotelian and Hobbesian philosophy, women have been considered somewhat insignificant and not worthy of research until Simmel introduced the theory of flirtation (1984), fashion and prostitution (1971). As awareness for women’s rights grew in the West, sociologists / political philosopher such as Engels (1884) wrote on the class struggle and the private property of family and marriage. The different approaches taken by sociologists Simmel, and Engels will be discussed and analysed, and how their theories relate to their theoretical perspectives and traditions. Simmel focuses his approach to women in three fields: fashion, flirtation, and prostitution. He assumes, in Georg Simmel on Individuality and Social…show more content…
138). As Simmel categorises actions as form or content (Simmel Introduction, p. xv), flirtation is classified as a play form, which “does not submit any form of content” (Simmel Flirtation, p. 146), and depends purely on intention and motives. This means that emphasis is on “good form” (Simmel Introduction, p. xxvii), the art of how well a person is able to make communication with others. Flirting with men (assuming the women are heterosexual) allows women to embrace their “freedom and power” of rejection (Simmel Flirtation, p.141), and thus increasing their personal “value” of desirability in the “essence of price” (Simmel Flirtation, p.134), which is considered important, as women were thought to be defined by sexuality. Simmel’s theory on flirtation links in with freedom, which is considered the base of morality (Levine chapt. 9 p.182) since Kant, as Hoelderlin claims the “Moses of German culture” (Kelly, p. 70) in the German philosophical and sociological tradition . However, as women are the “chooser” in the animal kingdom (Simmel Flirtation, p. 140), flirtation, in a way returns the power of freedom and choice which was somewhat oppressed by male dominance during civilisation. Therefore,…show more content…
For example, the idea that monogamy is similar to women being the private property of men, and is like a form of slavery (Engels Family, Private Property, and the State, p.735). Engels used this theory to prove that the capitalist idea of private property is a product of alienated labour - exploiting social relations - (Marx, Estranged Labour, p.80) and getting rid of class monogamy foundation by including women in the workforce, resulting in women being no longer the property of men. This is a segment of the “postulate of class-determined morality” (Levine chapt. 10, p.230), as the capitalist/protestant (in Weberian terms) moral dispositions is dismissed by Marxian theoretical traditions. Moreover, class struggle between the sexes is also highlighted by Engels when discussing marriage in a capitalist society. The relation between the “oppressor” and the “oppressed class”, is described in political terms as the “bourgeoisie and the proletariat” in the modern society (Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party, p.472), but in marriage is replaced with men and women. The communist intention to overthrow class struggle in marriage between the sexes follows the same pattern of class struggle shown on the “Spectre of Communism” of the bourgeoisie and the

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