other words: sociological analysis and the political strategies
that are drawn from it must become more sophisticated.
Here, it is clear that Paz was reacting to modernization theory, a current of
thought that was very prominent at the time when he wrote the lines quoted
above. His arguments, however, were not inspired by ideological diff erences.
Rather, he simply recognized that sociologicaltheories of modernization
were far too simplistic and, therefore, incapable of coping with the extremely
complex sociocultural processes characteristic of modernization
/structural properties generally proceed
by extracting certain commonalities from the bewildering diversity of human
interactions. Simmel’s distinction between form and content constitutes one
of his most important contributions to the emergence of sociologicaltheory;
it has helped to foster the development of such new areas of study as symbolic
interactionism, social psychology, urban sociology, and, indeed, postmodern
In addition, Simmel made a distinction between forms of interaction and
social types. To avoid confusion – and to create meaning – people reduce
not in the blind dependencies, of which one is
the unrefl ected predominance of the national” (Adorno 1997, vol. 10.2: 692).
It seems quite obvious that Adorno situates Kant’s as well as his own ideas
8 | Just as if he would announce an awareness of the plurality of modernities –
which marks the debate about “multiple modernities” in contemporary sociologicaltheory – ahead of time.
40 | Oliver Kozlarek
in an outspokenly German situation, in that of a “culture war”, as it were,
which is marked by a dialectical tension: on one side, “a radicalization of the