Isegoría 58:105-122 (2018)

Alexis de Tocqueville shares a typical organicism with the founding fathers of classical sociology. His view of society as a body with organs was accompanied by a vision of sociology as social medicine. Such a natural idea of sociology should be able to cure the worst social ills with the skill and accuracy of the surgeon. Here, and unsurprisingly, Tocqueville follows his contemporary social scientists. What distinguishes him from the theoretical environment of his contemporaries is however a pioneering methodological individualism in line with the later sociology of Max Weber. Tocqueville’s two Memoirs on Pauperism tried to fit the figures of the indigent and miserable worker into a system of political control. Securing “citizenship” to certain sectors of the population was compatible with generating more and more social poverty. Although a bourgeois political strategy underpinned these ends, it did not undermine Tocqueville’s methodological greatness as a classic of sociology.
Keywords Classic of Sociology  Max Weber  Methodological Individualism  Organicism  Pauperism  Social Observation  Social Reform  clásico de la sociología  individualismo metodológico  observación social  organicismo  pauperismo  reforma social
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DOI 10.3989/isegoria.2018.058.05
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