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The Invention of Society: Psychological Explanations for Social Phenomena

The Invention of Society: Psychological Explanations for Social Phenomena

Serge Moscovici

ISBN: 978-0-745-61839-5

Jan 1991, Polity

416 pages

Select type: Paperback

In Stock

$39.95

Description

This brilliant and original book sets out to dismantle the idea that movements, crises and other phenomena produced in society must be explained by exclusively social causes, without recourse to psychological explanations.

The author argues that we should reassess the significance of psychological causes in human affairs. Whilst psychological causes are undoubtedly distinct from social causes, all social phenomena are events or facts brought about by human beings: it is their passions which stimulate their great political, religious and cultural creations. He discusses the work of Durkehim, Mauss, Weber and Simmel, and argues that only a productive interplay between psychology and sociology will do justice to the interdisciplinary character of their thought.

Winner of the European Amalfi Prize for Sociology, The Invention of Sociology will be welcomed by students and researchers in sociology, social psychology, and the social sciences generally.

Acknowledgements.

Introduction: The Problem.

Part I: Religion and Nature as the Origins of Society.

1. The Machine for the Creation of Gods.

2. Crimes and Punishments.

3. A Science Difficult to Name.

Part II: The Power of the Idea.

4. Social 'Big Bangs'.

5. The Genius of Capitalism.

6. The Mana and the Numina. .

Part III: One of the Greatest Mysteries in the World. .

7. The Science of Forms.

8. Money as Passion and as Representation.

9. The World that has Vanished.

Concluding Remarks.

Notes.

Index.

Winner of the European Amalfi Prize for Sociology and Social Theory, 1988.


"This book is stimulating and important." Times Higher Education Supplement

"Elegantly written and persuasively argued." Political Studies

"Moscovici provides a useful psychological perspective on the work of three major sociological thinkers [Durkheim, Weber and Simmel]. The volume richly deserved the European Amalfi Prize for Sociology and Social Theory that it won." Contemporary Sociology

"Moscovici's achievement is rare and seminal: he has made social theory exciting again, a field of rewarding exploration and intellectual adventure." Zygmunt Bauman, University of Leeds

"This is a book which offers a challenging and radical argument to social scientists of all shades, and one which deserves to be widely read." Gerard Duveen, University of Cambridge

* This book won the European Amalfi Prize for Sociology and Social Theory 1988. It is a classic work.
* It sets out to dismantle the idea that movements, crises and other phenomena produced in society must be explained by exclusively social causes, without recourse to psychological explanations.
* Moscovici is one of the leading social psychologists in Europe. He has written many books and is well-known among social psychologists and sociologists in the English-speaking world.
* This book won the European Amalfi Prize for Sociology and Social Theory 1988. It is a classic work.
* It sets out to dismantle the idea that movements, crises and other phenomena produced in society must be explained by exclusively social causes, without recourse to psychological explanations.
* Moscovici is one of the leading social psychologists in Europe. He has written many books and is well-known among social psychologists and sociologists in the English-speaking world.