Imitation (sociology)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The imitation was in sociology in 1890 by Gabriel Tarde developed as a central concept.

Tarde's basic observation was that the exclusion of socially ascendants from the ruling power elites from the upper class causes subordinate social groups to at least imitate attributes of their lifestyle . These include attitudes , fashions , later beach resorts or sports such as polo or golf and the like.

In the corporatist organized society of the 18th century the French nobility met this endeavor by procured by the king bans (the citizens was for example, the noble. Blue prohibited as clothing color; it gave way to dark green off). Since this is no longer possible, ruling groups voluntarily clear the field by adopting new, often expensive lifestyle attributes, which leads to conspicuous consumption (according to Thorstein Veblen ), or they seal off their social networks from parvenus .

In the sociology of youth differed Lars Clausen 1976 "childlike" of "youthful" action as "imitative" or "imitative" versus " anticipatory activity".

René Girard's mimetic theory establishes a connection between imitation and rivalry or violence.


  • Gabriel Tarde: The Laws of Imitation . Translated from the French by Jadja Wolf. Second edition, Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 2009, ISBN 978-3-518-29483-3 . Original: Les lois de l'imitation , 1890.
  • Arno Bammé : Gabriel Tarde and the “Laws of Imitation” . In: Tönnies-Forum , Vol. 18 (2009), Issue 1, pp. 5–28, ISSN  0942-0843 .
  • Christian Borch, Urs Stäheli (Ed.): Sociology of Imitation and Desire. Materials for Gabriel Tarde ( Suhrkamp-Taschenbuch Wissenschaft, Bd. 1882). Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 2009, ISBN 978-3-518-29482-6 .
  • Neal E. Miller , John Dollard: Social Learning and Imitation . Greenwood Press, Westport (Connecticut) 1979, ISBN 0-313-20714-3 (unmodified reprint of Yale University Press, New Haven 1941 edition).