community and society

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Community and Society is a work by the German sociologist and economist Ferdinand Tönnies , which was first published in 1887. It is the first sociological work by a German author to be designated as such and at the same time a theoretical basic work.


On a theoretical level, Tönnies distinguishes between two types of collective groupings based on mutual “affirmation” of those involved in social activities: “ community ” on the one hand, “ society ” on the other. This distinction is based on his assumption that there can only be two basic forms of willful affirmation of others for the individual . For Tönnies this “ affirmation ” is the basic problem and the topic (the object of knowledge ) of sociology .

The will to affirmative can analytically appear in exactly two forms:

as a common essence will

If the individual feels part of a larger social whole, then he or she orients his actions towards this overarching purpose. Everyone thinks and acts in this way if he belongs to a collective as a " community ". The form of will, which affirms community, is called by Tönnies " essence will ". Examples would be the dike cooperative , the village or a church .

as a socially oriented freestyle will

Or else the individual makes use of the others in an instrumental way, they are for him a means to his own individual ends. In this case he participates in the collective as a " society ". This form of will, which only comes into general validity through a historical phase of individualization , is called by Tönnies " Kürwille ". Examples would be the stock corporation , the modern state or the “ learned republic ”.

The “community” is sufficient for itself (but can certainly strive for growth); “Society” is an instrument (the actor can put it aside).

The thesis that the ancient human community developed into a modern society ( "from status to contract" ) goes back to the ancient law of 1861 by the legal historian Henry Sumner Maine . Tönnies has translated passages of the text into community and society and offers its own sociological development theory.

Theoretical foundation

“Community” and “society” are purely theoretical in the world of concepts ; H. as axiomatic , so-called " normal types " by Tönnies . According to Tönnies, they are to be strictly distinguished from the world of social reality as pure conceptualizations . This means, among other things, that as a conceptual pair of opposites, theoretically , i. H. in the field of " pure sociology ", are incompatible, while in reality they are, i. H. in the field of “applied sociology”, is no different than mixed.

"Community" theory

(§ 1) The “common” will (“ essential will ”) of the actors is naturally anchored in 1) the relationship between mother and child, 2) the relationship between the spouses and 3) between the siblings. For Tönnies, sibling love is the highest form, as it is not instinctive, but based on memory and shared memories.

(§ 2) Tönnies sees the unity of will even when there is a board in the "community". Fatherhood thus establishes a communal form of domination that is not based on the disposition and use for the benefit of the Lord, but on education and teaching as the completion of generation. This form has proven itself against the matriarchy due to material necessities (the man fights for work outside the home) .

(§ 3) Community relationships find their balance between enjoyment and work , i.e. what the other brings towards you and what you yourself have to do for it. There is a certain division of labor between the sexes, the mentally or physically gifted, etc., so that one complements each other.

(§ 4) When it comes to stately relationships, there can also be pleasure in loyal service, just as the stronger feels tenderness towards the weak and feels the desire to help. These two forces cause a mutual balance.

(§ 5) The superior force that acts for the benefit of their subordinates is dignified . This can be expressed in three ways: as the dignity of old age, strength and wisdom. With regard to living together in the home, these three types unite in the role of the father. You correspond on the side of the subordinates the awe . It honors the stronger and is thus to be separated from the mere fear of his undignified authority.

(§ 6) Tönnies differentiates between three types of community: that of "the blood " ( kinship ), "the place " ( neighborhood ) and "the spirit " ( friendship ), the latter being the most human because it is least instinctive and through mere habit originated. The three forms of community correspond to three historical locations in which they appear primarily: the house with relatives, the village in relation to the neighborhood and the city in which one meets like-minded friends.

(§ 7) Just as the fatherly love of the house gives an early natural form, one also has to imagine the dignity of the prince ("ducal function"), or in general that of a superior, for example a master towards his apprentices . The dignity of old age has a “judicial function” because the old man, as a calm observer, can use his experience to settle the quarrels of the young. The “priestly function”, on the other hand, is a form of wisdom that is believed to relate to the divine beyond human relationships. Every “community” is dependent on these three forms for the purpose of mutual compensation.

(§ 8) Every dignity can be viewed as a service to the community and every service to the community has its own dignity. Rights and obligations are corresponding sides of the same thing. However, there can of course be real inequality in the community, which can only occur to a certain extent, as otherwise the community no longer exists as such.

(§ 9) Mutually-common and unifying spirit , as a unifying will is what Tönnies calls understanding . Mutual understanding is based on seeing that everything that is in accordance with the meaning of a communal relationship has meaning for it - it is understood (it "makes sense") because it serves the community. This requires intimate knowledge of each other. The organ of understanding is the language . Something is not first understood and then what has been understood verbalized, but (mutual) understanding takes place in the language itself. Language is therefore not an agreed-upon system of signs, but rather comes from trust, intimacy and love, like the mother tongue between mother and child .

(§ 10) Theories that understand language as an agreed system of signs are based on modern “social” conditions in which matters are organized through agreements. True understanding, however, as found between the spouses, is silent because its content is inexpressible, infinite, and incomprehensible. Furthermore, unity and understanding are naturally given , so they cannot be “made”, such as an appointment can be made or a contract can be concluded.

(§ 11) Common goods of a "community" fall into two categories: possession and enjoyment , the former means durable goods, the latter the consumer goods. The transition is fluid, so the hunt, which kills the animal in order to fully utilize it, can be made superfluous by keeping and breeding animals only consuming the products of an animal that are renewed. Such protection gives things their worthiness.

(§ 12) The "community" is the original, i.e. H. given by nature, form of coexistence. Only over time do smaller groups move to the edge, where they form new communities. In this way, a multitude of different centers is formed , whose independence is characterized by the fact that they form a head in relation to its members. So each of these new communities corresponds to the original form of the house, which is why the study of the "community" that can be called the house.

(§ 13) This domestic life is organized into three layers: in the center are the master and wife, in the second ring the offspring and in the third the servants and maids. Tönnies protects himself against prejudices against the status of the servant and he can even be similar to "childhood" for him if he pays his master the reverence of the mature son and the trust of one through his moral character, from a share in the joys and sorrows of the family Counselor enjoys. Then he is a free person according to his moral constitution, even if he is not according to his legal status.

(§ 14) The communal housekeeping has the stove and the blackboard as symbols . If everyone goes about their work beforehand, the table unites them all again. The house is shared , whereas the exchange contradicts the essence of the house. Exchange only takes place externally when the house as a whole exchanges its surpluses with other houses in the village community.

(§ 15) There is also an exchange between town and country, namely when the town produces rare goods but at the same time is dependent on food from the country. In the city itself - conceived as a “community” - competition is to be avoided, as is monopoly . Tönnies mentions 1:10 as a suitable population ratio between town and country.

(§ 16) Feudalism developed for Tönnies from the community in which the descent from the ancestors is assigned to a certain family, which follows them in a direct line. Gradually, this family then enjoy economic advantages until their followers and servants are so numerous that they have to cultivate the land themselves again. If one continues to keep them dependent, serfdom emerges from this, which Tönnies sees as the end of the community. The lease does not cancel this plan since it merely monetized serfdom.

(§ 17) If common property (fields, meadows, etc.) is distributed in the village community, exchange, purchase, contract and statutes are of subordinate to negligible importance. If a decision is to be made about the use of these goods, one will rather orientate oneself towards the idea of ​​natural distribution , which divides a common land into temporary parcels according to aspects of common use. Neighboring law originally served the cooperative idea and not individual property.

(§ 18) This idea cannot apply to the city; it is more of an intellectual common good (cf. Polis ). By virtue of her common sense and spirit, she produces pleasing and harmonious forms in art . The craft of the community serves as art, for example when architecture builds walls, towers and gates for town halls and places of worship in the city. Art and craft are closely related to religion if they give it a sensual form. The gods symbolize what is useful to the community: virtue, ability, goodness. The priests are therefore the preachers of the virtues. This cohesion is a big task for the city with all its colorfulness. It is flanked by a sensible exchange of goods that does not allow anything harmful into the city and ensures that no goods that the city itself needs are brought out.

"Society" theory

(§ 19) The theory of "society" is an ideal construction in the sense of normal-typical relationships. "Society" is a circle of people who are essentially separated from one another , while in the "community" they were essentially connected to one another . Actions in a society therefore do not take place with regard to an existing unit or a common good , but rather arise from the self-interested individual will (“ cure will ”). If someone does something for another, he asks for something in return : this does not have to be the same as the work he has performed, but better as possible. In order for such an exchange of services to take place at all, it is a condition that there are no absolute and common values, but that the objects of exchange have more value for one and less for the other. Nevertheless, a highest value can establish itself in society, but this is only fiction by virtue of the imagination of all members of a society. One such highest value is the principle of exchange. In exchange , a commodity changes its owner and is, as it were, available to both subjects for the duration of this "transaction". This opens up an area in which a thing is no longer used for its original purpose (shoes for walking), but as an object for exchange, the thing acquires a social value . For “exchange” to work in society, it must be recognized by everyone; it is the content of social will. Exchange thus becomes a social reality in which the willingness to exchange of all members of a society becomes general and public. If goods are exchanged, they are in proportion to everyone's willingness to exchange, i.e. H. they no longer have an absolute value according to which they are valued, but their value is always relative.

(§ 20) “ Value ” can therefore no longer be presented as “objective”, because there is no longer an (objective) community good that could serve as a yardstick. But it cannot be thought of as “subjective” either (the shoes are useful for 'me' for walking ), because then the owner would not exchange them. So that a thing can be exchanged, its properties as a thing must become indifferent to the owner . Your value thus becomes a pure exchange value . As such, it is then sufficient for a thing to have social value if it brings an advantage to a party of exchange: the brandy harms the worker, but benefits the brandy maker. This means that a produced thing is not measured according to its usefulness, but, since it was only produced for exchange, according to how quickly and cheaply it can be produced. Conversely, every thing found in “society” will have to be thought of with a purchase price. So all possible relationships in society are to be seen in exchange as interpersonal , and there is no (higher) being that could stand above it. Nature becomes the raw material and material store for the products to be produced. The central benchmark is the working time required to produce them . In “society” work is not a matter of nature “communal” that is then divided up, but rather it is present from the outset in pieces that can be taken up by individual members. Since the members thus produce things that are not of immediate use to them, they are dependent on exchange in order to exchange what is useless for them into something useful for them.

(§ 21) Money is a commodity, it is the most general commodity . Their value arises solely through the recognition of all members of a society. It can have a value of its own in the form of precious metal coins, but as paper money shows, this is not necessary: ​​paper money is in itself worthless goods. Since money is worthless in itself, everyone only wants to exchange it. In order for another to accept it, he has to trust that he will get rid of it again with the same effect.

(§ 22) The unifying will in exchange is called a contract and is the point of intersection of two individual wills. In the contract, both sides make a promise that goods will be exchanged immediately or at a later date. The contract gives the word instead of the commodity. With the word the buyer has acquired the full right to the goods. This is so because society as a whole accepts and establishes the principle of the “contract” in advance: the principle does not have to be re-established in each individual case, but applies in the sense of the law .

(§ 23) A special contract is one in which one side surrenders the goods without initially taking money for them: the credit . If, on the other hand, money is sold for credit, one speaks of a loan . In this case, the promise of the contract serves as a money surrogate . When money is sold for credit (that is, lent at the expense of interest ), the “social” conditions are most evident. Because in this case no concrete object with utility value is exchanged at all. The loan creates an obligation for the debtor to pay interest up to the time the money is repaid. The bond in turn can also be resold as a commodity. In terms of exchange value, it is the perfect commodity because it does not wear out or spoil. However, there is a contradiction inherent in it, because it remains nonsensical how the mere possession of a commodity (the obligation) can bring in money without the commodity itself being given for exchange.

(§ 24) In the case of exchange, payment can be made with a service, i.e. with work, instead of with one thing. Then work becomes a commodity. Since the goods labor is not exchanged immediately, but over a certain period of time, it may be necessary that the creditor has to force it from the refusing debtor. If several creditors join together for this purpose, partnerships, associations, associations etc. are formed. They are themselves to be viewed as new social subjects whose sole interest is to ensure compliance with each contract. Their meeting is only momentary, the wills of the individuals overlap in the common interest. In this way, despite fundamentally separate wills, a common area is created. In order for such an organization to be able to act, it must regulate the freedom of its individual members, i. H. split up. Rules that coordinate the interaction of the individual members are called social conventions . They are recognized by individuals as they serve the benefit of their association, which in turn serves their own.

(§ 25) Civil society is a barter society. It is to be thought of as something that is in fact constantly developing and nominally as something to be striven for. Its ideal is to overcome all boundaries and to include all people in barter, as well as to extend the system of social conventions to all members. The idea is therefore unlimited and its symbol can be found in the globe. Since every person in this system only strives for his own advantage and only affirms the others if he himself has an advantage, the relationship of all to all can be viewed as potential hostility or latent war of all against all . Because everyone is a buyer and seller and thus anxious to appropriate the property of the other. There is also cooperation, but mostly only to defeat a common opponent. Dealing with one another is determined by politeness , i. H. one tries to flatter the other because one expects something in return - appearances cover up the truth. You only come together because both interests relate to objects . Thus the relationship is mediated , while in the “community” it is unmediated , direct, bodily and the relationship is determined by living words and deeds. At the same time, the state takes on the role of legal mediation in “society” , which is why it is a mere consequence of economic society.

(§ 26) The process of society involves several transitions: from domestic economy to general trade economy, from predominance of agriculture to predominance of industry. Associated with this is the appearance of traffic when it is necessary to expand the trade and production zone. Little by little, an ever larger part of the country is being reached and is adjusting to the new "social" conditions. At the same time, however, all the previous relationships and qualities between people and things are seen mainly from the perspective of exchange value. The final stage of this expansion and appropriation is the world market .

(§ 27) All human creation and education is a form of art . The trade is its opposite, because he is not creatively active, but only changed the relationship of assets: The increase of one is the negative of the other. In this sense, the merchant is the first free person, since he is pursuing an abstract purpose in this way and this purpose only arose together with society. With this new purpose (profit) he is free from all previous communal ties and obligations. The same applies to the function of the creditor. While merchants are intermediaries in the exchange, bankers are intermediaries in the intermediation process. Activity of both professions can be thought of as something produced willfully by a community . But only if one could assume that their profit would go to the whole .

(§ 28) In fact, however, the contradiction between labor and capital always remains in effect. The merchant is not interested in the commodity work itself , but buys it in order to turn it into money again. So he buys money with money by brokering goods, the sole purpose of which is to accumulate the money. Since more money can be made from money via the detour of the goods, one can say that money increases by itself. This self-reproduction is then thought of as an absolute purpose and the actions of the merchants are arranged accordingly. Care is taken to ensure that the worker is only assigned the resources necessary to maintain his workforce. The merchants and capitalists thus appear as the real masters of society, and society only seems to exist for their sake. However, this is only the case according to economic standards, whereas legally all members of society are thought of as equal and have the same freedoms.

(§ 29) Since the worker has no capital, he cannot buy means of production himself . In order to earn money, he is therefore dependent on selling his only commodity, his labor, on the market. He is legally free to do this , even if the circumstances force him to live this way: Although he is to be regarded as a freelance businessman himself when selling his labor , he must sell it, because in order to survive he depends on money, which is what he does enables the acquisition of consumer goods (food). In fact, there is no trade, but an exchange of labor for life-sustaining means. He is thus not the subject of trade himself (this is the merchant), but appears to the merchant merely as a commodity, as a workable worker. The merchant can only consume this particular commodity by storing it in a manufactured product.

(§ 30) Comparison with other economic forms: The landlord , which surrenders land for lease, is not an ordinary trade, because land cannot be given away like a commodity. It must therefore be thought of as a means - which is a great abstract thought. For the tenant, however, a hard form of dependency arises: while an ordinary customer who has been cheated can change the seller, this freedom is not given to the tenant. He remains dependent on the landlord and can be exploited by him.

(§ 31) The traditional workshop of the craftsman is also designed for trade. But while the urban craftsman is protected from access by the merchant through a permanent customer base and possession of modern means of production, this does not apply to rural businesses. The merchant will first buy the goods from them and take them to distant markets. He will also deliver the raw materials necessary for production to the companies. Gradually, he can then ensure that these differentiate themselves and limit themselves to certain production stages in order to manufacture more efficiently. This process takes place (based on Marx's analysis) in three stages: 1.) simple cooperation 2.) manufacture 3.) large-scale mechanical industry. Along with this rise in trade and production, the traditional agricultural sector is then also seen as an industry, albeit of lesser importance. The system of production and trade is thus extended to all areas of the economy and profit becomes the purpose of all economic endeavors, including agriculture.

(§ 32) How does the dominance of trade and the capitalists come about? In the course of the differentiation of the handicraft workshop to the industrial enterprise, someone is needed to take over the organizational management and someone to inject the capital to purchase the production goods. On the one hand, this can be the master himself or a businessman, but both can also coincide in one person. For the perfect society one could say that the entire production and distribution process is optimally regulated by a single person.

(§ 33) In the barter society everything can become a commodity. This is either distributed only through trade or produced by the merchant himself or by others. But only when he lets work can he give his manufacture any size he likes.

(§ 34) The merchant who wants to make profit, i.e. increase money through money (and who is the only one who can) has two options for this: Either he restricts himself to the mere trading of goods, or he goes into production with a. If he does the latter, he has to buy additional labor. But labor, like any other commodity, has to be paid for. The question then arises of how profit can be made from this.

(§ 35) Workers are a commodity that cannot be manufactured but is available to a limited extent. This restriction determines their value in relation to the employer's purchasing power, and their value is increased through specialization. However, this potential trade relationship between employer and employee is not a free one, because the worker is dependent on food and housing. He must just sell his labor.

(§ 36) On the part of the businessman there is a desire to maximize profit , which is why he wants to keep wages as low as possible. Unlike the worker, the merchant is not forced to enter into a labor-money trade; he can hold back his money. In this way it is possible for him to keep wages to a necessary minimum in order to maintain bare existence. The cost of living is therefore the natural cost of any work .

(§ 37) The competition leads to the rationalization of production, because if one man produces his products cheaper than another, the latter has to follow suit and adapt his mode of production if he wants to continue selling his products on the market. But now some goods must necessarily be produced and distributed. If this is done by monopolists , it can be assumed that there is only the exact amount of necessary goods on the market. Theoretically, such a monopoly must occur when all production processes have been optimized to the maximum and no further rationalization is possible. Then the same production conditions prevail for all goods of one kind. If one continues to assume that natural raw materials do not have to be purchased, but are available free of charge, then the only cost of manufacturing a product remains the labor costs, and these would always be the same. This would be the end and resting point of the development of the world market.

(§ 38) The added value is the difference between the purchase price of the labor and the sales price of the finished product. In addition to material goods, there are also services in which no working time has materialized. Therefore their value is only determined as price, namely solely by demand. However, unlike service providers, all workers who produce goods are not to be found on the goods market, but on the labor market. The labor market, however, is hidden compared to the commodity market. Because companies buy in labor at will , the worker is interchangeable, and so ultimately the company itself appears as the originator of the products and no longer the workers. While the entrepreneur organizes the production process according to his ideas and conceptions, the worker is only assigned one place on the machine to which he has to adapt and to which he appears meaningless as a person. Of course, every product in reality remains dependent on individual-human labor, but because of their interchangeability, the workers no longer appear as the originators of the products and consequently not as their legitimate owners - but the entrepreneur.

(§ 39) On the labor market the labor is offered, on the commodity market the goods necessary for production. The market on which end consumers purchase the goods produced is called the Krammarkt . While the goods are brought to a center for manufacture during production, it is the task of the merchants to then distribute them to the end consumers in the opposite direction. The distribution of consumer goods carried out by them can be understood as a social service.

(§ 40) The essential structure of the company is described by three acts:

  1. Purchase of labor
  2. Application of manpower
  3. Sale of labor.

The subject of these acts, i.e. whoever carries them out or whom they serve, is the capitalist class . The capitalist can carry out the three acts according to his wish; he is completely free . On the other hand, the worker has to do point three in some way, he is only half-free in it . Since only the capitalist is completely free in this system, it will predominantly be the capitalist class that will happily advocate the system. The workers appear in it only as formal subjects , i. H. They are legally and theoretically free subjects, but according to their actual living conditions they are driven by necessities. The whole system is based on the labor force imagined as a commodity, i.e. a thought that is willingly accepted by all people.

This will is developed as Tönnies' axiomatic in the “Second Book” of “Community and Society” (“Wesenwille” / “Kürwille”).


While the first edition had almost no response, the second edition of 1912 was a great success, as the youth movement of that time, which was looking for ' communities ', had an impact and made the work proverbial. After 1933 , the reception dropped suddenly because Tönnies had vehemently opposed Hitler . It was only after 1980 that the work became more popular again.

In 1924, Helmuth Plessner grasped the boundaries of community in his work . A critique of social radicalism revisited the subject. Plessner welcomes the development towards society and criticizes the youth movement of his time, which, following on from Tönnies, wants to lead social conditions back into the community.

After the Second World War, Theodor Geiger described the Tönniesian philosophically based typology as an unclear conceptual metaphysics, based mainly on the words taken from the German language. This became clear to him when he tried to translate the text into Danish. In retrospect, he considered his first treatise on the subject to be an attempt to rescue a diamond from the rubble that had been driven by his personal sympathy for the author.



The first edition of Community and Society appeared in 1887 ( digitized version and full text in the German Text Archive ) and had the subtitle Treatise on Communism and Socialism as Empirical Forms of Culture . From this the reader could conclude that for Tönnies communism could empirically only be a form of culture of “community”, e.g. B. as "family" or "monastery communism", however, socialism empirically only a form of culture of "society", z. B. in the labor movement . Tönnies' choice of words made conservatives and liberals as suspicious as they were unacceptable to Marxist socialists. The second edition of 1912 and all the following were then subtitled more harmlessly with Basic Concepts of Pure Sociology .

The content of the third edition (1920) was hardly changed by Tönnies apart from changing the term from “arbitrariness” to “Kürwillen”, but until the eighth edition in 1935 Tönnies provided his work with new prefaces in which he referred to relevant discussions of the times. In 1935, the declared and already persecuted opponent of the Nazis, out of political caution, only added a new foreword , which also appears in the currently available editions of the Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft Darmstadt (last edition 2010). In the critical “ Ferdinand Tönnies Complete Edition ”, Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft was published as Volume 2 in June 2019 and takes into account all prefaces.

  • Ferdinand Tönnies: Community and Society. Basic concepts of pure sociology . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2010.
  • Ferdinand Tönnies: Community and Society. Profil-Verlag, Munich / Vienna 2017.
  • Ferdinand Tönnies: Community and Society. 1880-1935. , ed. v. Bettina Clausen and Dieter Haselbach , De Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2019 (Ferdinand Tönnies Complete Edition, Volume 2), ISBN 978-3-11-015835-9 .

In 2012, Klaus Lichtblau published a collection of texts by Tönnies entitled Studies on Community and Society , the contributions of which are closely related to his main work.

Secondary literature

  • Niall Bond: Sociology and ideology in Ferdinand Tönnies' Community and Society. Freiburg 1991 (Freiburg (Breisgau), Univ., Diss., 1991).
  • Lars Clausen , Carsten Schlüter (Ed.): One Hundred Years of “Community and Society”. Ferdinand Tönnies in the international discussion. Leske + Budrich, Opladen 1991, ISBN 3-8100-0750-1 .
  • Manfred Lauermann : The wavering of the welfare state between community and society. In: Uwe Carstens u. a .: Reorganization of social benefits. Ferdinand-Tönnies-Gesellschaft, Kiel 2006, ISBN 3-8334-6477-1 , pp. 111–158 ( Tönnies-Forum . Vol. 15, H. 1/2, 2006).
  • Peter-Ulrich Merz-Benz : Profundity and ingenuity. Ferdinand Tönnies' conceptual constitution of the social world , Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1995.
  • Frank Osterkamp: Community and Society. About the difficulty of making a difference. For the reconstruction of Ferdinand Tönnies' primary draft theory. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-428-11323-3 ( contributions to social research 10), (also: Kiel, Univ., Diss., 2001).
  • Peter Ruben: Community and society - considered again . In Dittmar Schorkovitz (ed.): Ethno-historical ways and apprenticeship years of a philosopher. Frankfurt 1995; Ders .: Limits of the community? In: Berliner Debatte Initial. 13/2002 issue 1 (both articles also in )
  • Nele Schneidereit: The dialectic of community and society. Basic concepts of a critical social philosophy. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-05-004908-3 . ( Political Ideas 22), (Simultaneously: Dresden, Univ., Diss., 2008)
  • HL Stoltenberg : Guide through Tönnies' community and society. K. Curtius, Berlin 1919 (the briefest but clearest overview) .
  • Swiss Journal of Sociology : Community and Society in the Discourse of Modern Sociology. Essays in Honor of Ferdinand Tönnies on the Occasion of his 150th Birthday (with contributions by Albert Salomon , Peter-Ulrich Merz-Benz, Gerhard Wagner, Stefan Bertschi), Vol. 32, 2005, H. 1.

Web links


  1. Klaus F. Röhl : Legal Sociology-online Chapter 2 History of Legal Sociology, Section 3 Precursors, V. Maine: From Status Right to Contract Law, accessed on September 16, 2019
  2. See also the ideas from 1914 .
  3. Theodor Geiger: Ideology and Truth. A Sociological Critique of Thought. Luchterhand, Neuwied / Berlin 1968, p. 91 f.
  4. The preface from 1935 is already quoted in 1998 in vol. 22.