Durkheim's concealed sociology of the crowd

Eduardo Cintra Torres*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This article aims to bring out Durkheim's development of a pioneering sociology of the crowd, overlapping with yet going beyond psychological theories of the time. It begins by exploring the terminology used by Durkheim, colleagues and contemporaries in referring to crowds/gatherings/assemblies, and next asks about the social, political and intellectual context in which 'the crowd' became a key issue, as in the Dreyfus Affair and among writers such as Tarde. It then focuses on the issue's discussion in Durkheim's new journal, the Année sociologique, as well as in his own major works, but above all in Les Formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse, which offers a seminal, if concealed, sociology of the crowd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-114
Number of pages26
JournalDurkheimian Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Crowd theory
  • Crowds
  • Durkheim
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Tarde


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