Gabriel Tarde was a highly influential figure in 19th century French sociology: a prolific and evocative writer whose understanding of the social differed radically from that of his younger opponent Emile Durkheim. Whereas Durkheimian sociology went on to become the core of the social scientific canon throughout much of the 20th century, Tarde’s sociology fell out of the picture, and he was remembered mostly through a few footnotes in which Durkheim dismissed him as an individualist, a psychologist and a metaphysician. The social sciences and humanities are now being swept by a Tardean revival, a rediscovery and reappraisal of the work of this truly unique thinker, for whom ‘every thing is a society and every science a sociology’. Tarde is being brought forward as the misrecognised forerunner of a post-Durkheimian era. Reclaimed from a century of near-oblivion, his sociology has been linked to Foucaultian microphysics of power, to Deleuze's philosophy of difference, and most recently to the spectrum of approaches related to Actor Network Theory. In this connection, Bruno Latour hailed Tarde’s sociology as "an alternative beginning for an alternative social science". This volume asks what such an alternative social science might look like. This second edition has been expanded to include, alongside the original chapters, two key essays by Gabriel Tarde himself - Monadology and Sociology and The Two Elements of Sociology, as well as a significantly revised and extended introduction by the editor.
In this influential work, first published in English in 1963, Durkheim and Mauss claim that the individual mind is capable of classification and they seek the origin of the ‘classificatory function’ in society. On the basis of an intensive examination of forms and principles of symbolic classification reported from the Australian aborigines, the Zuñi and traditional China, they try to establish a formal correspondence between social and symbolic classification. From this they argue that the mode of classification is determined by the form of society and that the notions of space, time, hierarchy, number, class and other such cognitive categories are products of society. Dr Needham’s introduction assesses the validity of Durkhiem and Mauss’s argument, traces its continued influence in various disciplines, and indicates its analytical value for future researches in social anthropology.
Marcel Mauss's writings on techniques and technology are at the forefront of an important anthropological and sociological research tradition, and they also highlight the theoretical and ideological challenges surrounding this field of study. A selection of Mauss's texts - including his major statements on methodology, on body techniques, on practical reason, on nation and civilisation, on progress, and so forth - are here translated and presented together for the first time, with a discussion of their context, impact and implications. This book will interest scholars and students dealing with the French sociological tradition, and also more generally those concerned with technology and material culture studies in archaeological,anthropological or contemporary settings.
Dans ce classique de la sociologie de la connaissance, Durkheim et Mauss ne s'attaquent à rien de moins qu'au projet de réécrire la table kantienne des catégories : la maîtrise des jugements logiques qu'ils rendent possibles ne sont pas le fruit des seules forces de l'individu, mais ont une origine sociale. Cette hypothèse, ils la testent sur les concepts de genres et d'espèces, et plus généralement sur l'activité scientifique de classes. Ils entendent ainsi établir qu'en Amérique du Nord et chez les Aborigènes d'Australie, tout autant que dans le système divinatoire chinois, stratification sociale et genres naturels primitifs se font écho ; on ne saurait classer les choses sans appartenir à des sociétés structurées. On comprend le profit à tirer de ce constat pour mieux appréhender les activités scientifiques modernes.
Author: Jean Terrier
Release Date: 2011-06-22
Genre: Social Science
Taking the example of France between the Enlightenment and the Second World War and focusing especially on the connection between social theories and political projects, this book provides an original analysis of French scholarly debates on the nature of society.
Author: Andrew Abbott
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2016-03-07
Genre: Social Science
For the past twenty years, noted sociologist Andrew Abbott has been developing what he calls a processual ontology for social life. In this view, the social world is constantly changing—making, remaking, and unmaking itself, instant by instant. He argues that even the units of the social world—both individuals and entities—must be explained by these series of events rather than as enduring objects, fixed in time. This radical concept, which lies at the heart of the Chicago School of Sociology, provides a means for the disciplines of history and sociology to interact with and reflect on each other. In Processual Sociology, Abbott first examines the endurance of individuals and social groups through time and then goes on to consider the question of what this means for human nature. He looks at different approaches to the passing of social time and determination, all while examining the goal of social existence, weighing the concepts of individual outcome and social order. Abbott concludes by discussing core difficulties of the practice of social science as a moral activity, arguing that it is inescapably moral and therefore we must develop normative theories more sophisticated than our current naively political normativism. Ranging broadly across disciplines and methodologies, Processual Sociology breaks new ground in its search for conceptual foundations of a rigorously processual account of social life.
Author: Vincent P. Pecora
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2006-10-01
Genre: Literary Criticism
Religion is an undiscovered country for much of the secular academy, which remains deeply ambivalent about it as an object of study. On the one hand, secular scholars agree that it is time to take religion seriously. On the other, these same scholars persist in assuming that religion rests not on belief but on power and ideology. According to Vincent Pecora, the idea of the secular itself is the source of much of the contradiction and confusion in contemporary thought about religion. Pecora aims here to work through the paradoxes of secularization, which emerges in this book as an intractable problem for cultural criticism in the nation-states of the post-Enlightenment West. Secularization and Cultural Criticism examines the responses of a wide range of thinkers—Edward Said, Talal Asad, Jürgen Habermas, Walter Benjamin, Emile Durkheim, Carl Schmitt, Matthew Arnold, and Virginia Woolf, among others—to illustrate exactly why the problem of secularization in the study of society and culture should matter once again. Exploring the endemic difficulty posed by religion for the modern academy, Pecora makes sense of the value and potential impasses of secular cultural criticism in a global age.
Classical Durkheimian Studies of Myth and the Sacred presents English translations of several important essays, some never before translated, by members of the famous Annee sociologique group around Emile Durkheim. These works by Marcel Mauss, Henri Hubert, and Robert Hertz are key contributions to today's growing interest in and reinterpretation of Durkheimian thought on culture, religion, and symbolism. The central thrust in this new interpretive effort uses the Durkheimian theory of the sacred to understand the symbolism and meanings of cultural structures and narratives more generally. This book is vital to any contemporary collection emphasizing social theory.
A selection of Canguilhem's writings, including excerpts from previously unpublished manuscripts. Organized around Canguilhem's usual intellectual themes and problems, the text offers an array of meditations on epistemology, methodology, science, and history.
Author: Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 1997-01-01
Genre: Literary Criticism
"In this absolutely powerful and innovative book, Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson illuminates the complex links between the Revolution of 1789, the different revolutions that took place in 19th-century Paris, and two aesthetic forms characteristic of the cultural discourses of modernity: panoramic journalism and the realist and historical novels authored by Balzac, Flaubert, Hugo, Zola, and Valles. A work of cultural history with stimulating implications, Paris as Revolution is well-structured, carefully argued and problematized, and compelling in its scholarship."--Catherine Nesci, author of La Femme mode d'emploi "A fascinating and richly suggestive essay on the cultural geography of nineteenth-century Paris. It is imaginatively conceived, broad in its reach, boldly interdisciplinary. Ferguson's success in combining literary criticism, historical interpretation and sociological analysis to reconstruct the shifting meanings given to the experiences of urbanization and revolution is most impressive."--Jonathan Beecher, author of Charles Fourier: The Visionary and His World