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Rethinking Community, Anarchy, and Sociology

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Chapter Summary

Sociology is an organized approach to understanding the emergence of human society in the turmoil and strife of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as was the case with other academic disciplines of the so-called "social sciences" such as psychology and criminology. This chapter examines intersections of anarchism and early sociological works by figures such as Durkheim, Weber, Spencer, and Tönnies on issues of community and social change to rethink both anarchism and sociology. The forgotten work of people like Gustav Landauer and Emma Goldman, and the overlooked sociology of Peter Kropotkin, offer interesting touchstones in the current (re)envisioning of anarchy and sociology. Living examples of the anarchist perspectives on order emerging "spontaneously" out of social circumstances are most readily and regularly observed under conditions of immediate need or emergency as in times of natural disaster and/or economic crisis, during periods of revolutionary upheaval or during mass events.

Keywords: anarchism; criminology; Emma Goldman; Gustav Landauer; Peter Kropotkin; psychology; sociological works

10.1163/9789004252998_003
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