Gabriel Tarde

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Tarde, Gabriel


Born Mar. 12, 1843, in Sarlat; died May 13, 1904, in Paris. French sociologist and criminologist.

From 1894 to 1896, Tarde headed a section in the Ministry of Justice. Later he taught and was made a professor of modern philosophy at the College de France in 1900. His sociological theory is pervaded by psychologism. According to Tarde, the psychology of the individual is the starting point of society, and the key processes occurring in society are those of imitation, opposition, and adaptation. Imitation is characteristic of individuals and facilitates their adaptation. Society is made possible by a universal law of repetition. The sole source of progress of society is invention, which is due to individual initiative and new combinations of existing ideas. As a result of imitation, the individual acquires both established norms and values and innovations. Tarde’s ideas were later developed in the theories of the socialization of the personality.

Tarde’s research demonstrated the difference between social psychology and individual psychology. According to Tarde, human beings taken collectively—especially in a crowd—are far more emotional and excitable and less intellectual than human beings taken individually. On the basis of this theory, Tarde was opposed to mass organs of state authority.

Tarde also wrote a number of works on the philosophy of law. His ideas influenced American sociology.


La Criminalité comparée. Paris, 1886.
La Philosophic pénale. Paris, 1890.
Les Transformations du droil, 2nd ed. Paris, 1894.
L’Opposition universelle. Paris, 1897.
Etudes de psychologie sociale. Paris, 1898.
Les Transformations dupouvoir. Paris, 1899.
La Psychologie économique, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1902.
L’Opinion et la foule, 4th ed. Paris, 1922.
In Russian translation:
Zakony podrazhaniia. St. Petersburg, 1892.
Prestupleniia tolpy. Kazan, 1893.
Sotsial’naia logika. St. Petersburg, 1901.
Sotsial’nye zakony. St. Petersburg, 1906.
References in periodicals archive ?
We learn of denied applications and successful promotions, positive and negative reviews of Durkheim's work, and early competitors in the sociological arena who opposed and supported his project--individuals such as Rene Worms, Gabriel Tarde, and Gustave Le Bon, whose contributions to sociology's early history may not be well known to English readers.
As the editor's goal is to create a textbook in anthology format, some contributions are reprints, rather than original contributions for this volume (the French criminologist Gabriel Tarde, who died in 1904, is included).
Por meio de um solido cabedal teorico, busca em Boaventura Santos, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Michel Foucault, Antonio Negri, Michael Hardt e Gabriel Tarde a fundamentacao teorica para suas reflexoes, analises e posicionamentos.
Terry Clark, ed, Gabriel Tarde On Communication and Social Influence (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969); Jurgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, translated by Thomas Burger (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1991); Sonia M Livingstone, ed, Audiences and Publics: When Cultural Engagement Matters for the Public Sphere (Bristol: Intellectual Press, 2005); Michael Warner, Public and Counter Publics (Brooklyn: Zone Books, 2002).
The French criminologis Gabriel Tarde once outlined the laws of imitation in our society and his main points were that men imitate one another in proportion to the closeness of their contact.
The idea promoted by Gabriel Tarde, that the acquisition of consumer goods was motivated by the desire to acquire prestigious status symbols -a ch oice made by the consumer, argued Tarde, while in a state of semi-consciousness equivalent to incomplete hypnosis.
Durkheim's arguments did not convince Gabriel Tarde, perhaps his most famous contemporary critic.
It is this facet of Durkheim's thesis that most disturbed Gabriel Tarde and, I suspect, Hart.
Durkheim was responding to Gabriel Tarde, perhaps Durkheim's most famous contemporary critic, who had criticized Durkheim's contention that crime h; a useful, and thus normal, condition of social life.