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Alain Ehrenberg en de mythe van het individualisme: van individualisering naar een sociologie van het individualisme

Author: Liza Cortois orcid logo

  • Alain Ehrenberg en de mythe van het individualisme: van individualisering naar een sociologie van het individualisme

    Onderzoeksartikel

    Alain Ehrenberg en de mythe van het individualisme: van individualisering naar een sociologie van het individualisme

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Abstract

This article proposes an alternative to theories of individualization such as the one from Beck, Giddens and Bauman and other forms of subject-oriented sociology that assume a sharp opposition between individual and civil society. Instead, a more cultural sociological perspective on the individual as a shared value in an individualist culture is elaborated. I follow the French sociologist Alain Ehrenberg who analyzes multiple concrete cases to illustrate the nature of contemporary individualism but who is to date not particularly well-known to a Dutch-speaking audience (nor an English-speaking one). Ehrenberg develops a sociology of individualism that surpasses a realist interpretation of the individual-as-actor who constructs his own biography, but instead focusses on the cultural stories or ‘myths’ explaining our view on individuality. Broadening this view beyond this particular sociologist, the article suggests a sociology based on late Durkheimian insights that stress the social nature of our perception of the individual, and his students Marcel Mauss and Louis Dumont. Finally, this also brings us to the fundamental question of the essence of sociological analysis in a time of enhanced emphasis on subjectivity.

How to Cite:

Cortois, L., (2016) “Alain Ehrenberg en de mythe van het individualisme: van individualisering naar een sociologie van het individualisme”, Sociologos 37(3), 211–229. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/sociologos.86918

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Published on
20 Aug 2016
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