The Social after Gabriel Tarde: Debates and Assessments

2nd Edition

Matei Candea

Routledge
Published December 8, 2015
Reference - 326 Pages - 9 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138119550 - CAT# Y214095
Series: Routledge Advances in Sociology

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Summary

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.

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