Mass, Crowd and Individuality As Challenging Classical and Contemporary Concepts

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:00-10:30
Location: Hörsaal 45 (Main Building)
RC35 Conceptual and Terminological Analysis (host committee)

Language: English and Spanish

Mass, crowd and individuality are key concepts for sociological theory. Without being obvious “fundamental concepts” of the discipline, mass and crowd appear linked to a sort of “dark side” of modern society and sociology: to imminent irruption of dangers, irrationality, chaos and collective pathologies and suggestions.
The problematization of these terms emerges in certain decisive crossroads of modern societies simultaneously both “central” and “peripherical” within their singular study traditions, for example, in the crisis of liberalism at the end of the 19th century and in the decade of the 1930s. In that way, because of being a shared concern for different spaces and times, the conceptual analysis of mass and crowd allows a theoretical and methodological approach that is not limited to “central” elaborations of Western Europe and the United States.
In contrast to the concepts of mass and crowd, individuality can be considered as a counter concept, since mass and crowd as forms of collectivity include the least involvement of the subjectivity of the individual actor. The mass we-relationship fugaciously and temporarily gets established, while the moral individual who can promise, feel guilty or regret gets suspended in mass collectivity. Collective mass action may appear independently of the possibility for the individual to interfere, leading to its potential dangerous, irrational and chaotic progression.
The session investigates the dynamic interrelationship of mass, crowd and individuality from a cross-cultural theoretical perspective, confronting concepts from diverging cultural viewpoints (European, North American, Asian, South American, etc.) to contest their validity independently of cultural differences.
Session Organizers:
Alejandro BIALAKOWSKY, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pablo DE MARINIS, Universidad de Buenos Aires/CONICET, Argentina, Jochen DREHER, University of Konstanz, Germany and Hisashi NASU, Waseda University, Japan
Silvana FIGUEROA-DREHER, University of Konstanz, Germany
“Mass Society”: A Simultaneous Approach of David Riesman and Gino Germani
Pablo DE MARINIS, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Insituto de Investigaciones Gino Germani, CONICET, Argentina; Alejandro BIALAKOWSKY, Instituto de Investigaciones Gino Germani - Facultad de Ciencias Sociales - Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
On the Family As a Collective Subjectivity
Mercedes KRAUSE, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
En Los Márgenes Del Canon Sociológico. La Cuestión De Las Masas En Los Umbrales Del Siglo XX: Gustav Le Bon, Gabriel Tarde, Georg Simmel y Robert Park.
Daniel ALVARO, Paris 8, France; Emiliano TORTEROLA, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina; Victoria HAIDAR, CONICET, Argentina; Eugenia FRAGA, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina; Juan TROVERO, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina