form and content
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form and contentthe distinction drawn, especially by SIMMEL, between the universal, recurring (abstract and A PRIORI) forms of social interaction (e.g. ‘conflict’ or ‘competition’) and the variable content given these forms in specific social situations. FORMAL SOCIOLOGY investigates the similarities of form evident in all areas of social life. See also DYAD AND TRIAD, SOCIABILITY.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000