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The stranger, defined by Georg Simmel as an individual who is a member of a system but who is not strongly attached to the system, influenced (1) such important concepts as social distance, the marginal man, heterophily, and cosmopoliteness, (2) the value on objectivity in social science research, and (3) to a certain extent, the specialty field of intercultural communication. Here we explore these influences of Simmel's theory of human communication, especially his concept of the stranger, and highlight certain implications for the contemporary study of intercultural communication.