The sociologies of the individual

The sociologies of the individual, a work of Danilo Martucelli and François de Singly (Armand Colin, coll. “128 “)

This is a small book with the title attractive, and that might seem self-evident to the novice. The company is not made up of a sum of individuals ? Therefore why should it not take the individual as the central object in its analyses ? This question, among others, is not as simple as it sounds, and is subject to debate. Currents of sociological analysis, which “leave” of individuals are in fact many and various. France, was less concerned by this epistemological stance that is more present in the anglo-saxon traditions. In the last twenty years, however, the sociologies of the individual are multiplied in the field of sociological French. This small book provides, in a reduced format, to make the tour of these many approaches.

Its authors are two sociologists at large, who have participated in the development of a sociology of the individual in France since the 1980s. Thus, for them, to do a sociology of the individual does not endanger the foundations of sociology. However, the deepening of modernity in the society (François de Singly speaks of the second modernity, the first dating back to the end of the Nineteenth century) emphasizes the process of individuation, which leads everyone to think of themselves as unique, autonomous and freed from the social constraints of the past. This individuation, however, is not a spontaneous phenomenon or voluntary on the part of each of us, but a new social norm, a new social phenomenon that should be studied with a sociological look.

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