Article ID: CBB001420215

Crime as Social Excess: Reconstructing Gabriel Tarde's Criminal Sociology (2014)


Gabriel Tarde, along with Durkheim and others, set the foundations for what is today a common-sense statement in social science: crime is a social phenomenon. However, the questions about what social is and what kind of social phenomenon crime is remain alive. Tarde's writings have answers for both of these capital and interdependent problems and serve to renew our view of them. The aim of this article is to reconstruct Tarde's definition of crime in terms of genus and specific difference, exploring his criminology as a case of his general sociology. This procedure shows that Tarde succeeded in creating a comprehensive theory of crime and criminals founded not only on his most well-known concept, imitation, but also on his equally important concepts of invention, opposition, social logic and social teleology. For Tarde, crime is a complex phenomenon related to criminal inventions, criminal propagations, the production of penal laws, the execution of controls and punishments, and the collective reactions to all these.

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Authors & Contributors
Gissis, Snait B.
Jones, Susan Stedman
Steiner, Philippe
Karstedt, Susanne
Rebelo, Fernanda
Caponi, Sandra
History of the Human Sciences
Perspectives on Science
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Journal Electronique d'Histoire des Probabilités et de la Statistique
Journal of Classical Sociology
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Polity Press
Prickly Paradigm Press
Johns Hopkins University
Presses Universitaires de Liège
Social sciences
Science and law
Durkheim, Émile
Mauss, Marcel
Tarde, Gabriel de
Halbwachs, Maurice
Foucault, Michel
Elias, Norbert
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
18th century
Great Britain
United States

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