Tarde, Gabriel de

Tarde, Gabriel de

(gäbrēĕl` də tärd), 1843–1904, French sociologist and criminologist. During his years of public service as a magistrate, he became interested in the psychosocial bases of crime. In Penal Philosophy (1890, tr. 1912) and other early works he criticized the concept of the atavistic criminal as developed by Cesare LombrosoLombroso, Cesare
, 1835–1909, Italian criminologist and physician. In 1876 he published a pamphlet setting forth his theory of the origin of criminal traits. In the study, later enlarged into the famous L'uomo delinquente (5th ed., 3 vol., 1896–97; partial tr.
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. Later he formulated a general social theory, distinguishing between inventive and imitative persons. Among his works are On Communication and Social Influence (tr. 1969) and The Laws of Imitation (1890, tr. 1903).
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