Sociology at the individual level: psychologies and neurosciences

Baptiste Brossard

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    12 Citations (Scopus)


    The French sociological tradition has long regarded the individual as a reality situated outside its area of intellection and investigation. According to Durkheim, the individual is a psychological object par excellence. Sociology has thus long favored the study of collectives (groups, classes, categories, institutions, microcosms), suggesting that the individual was a reality which, in itself, fell short of the social. The article discusses a method from the mid-1990s of researching sociology at an individual scale. This approach is essentially embedded in the French sociological tradition, from Durkheim to Bourdieu via Halbwachs, despite the inflections and criticisms it might have of this tradition, while also drawing on the main theoretical knowledge of Norbert Elias relational and processfocused sociology. From empirical realization in methodological and theoretical reflexivity, this research program has progressed in dialog with various types of scientific knowledge more classically oriented toward the individual and their mental realities, such as cultural psychology, psychoanalysis, cognitive psychology or the neurosciences.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEuropean Journal of Social Theory
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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