Community and Society
(GEMEINSCHAFT AND GESELLSCHAFT)
This extraordinary prescient work by Ferdinand Tönnies was written in 1887 for a small coterie of scholars and has continued to grow in importance and adherents. Its translator into English, Charles P. Loomis, well described it as a volume which pointed back into the Middle Ages and ahead into the future in its attempt to answer the questions: “What are we? Where are we? Whence did we come? Where are we going?” If the questions seem portentous in the extreme, the answers Tönnies provides are modest and compelling. Every major field from sociology, to psychology, to anthropology, has found this to be a praiseworthy book.
“Tönnies’ great classic serves to bring a much needed addition to the American shelves of sociology theory. Tönnies may now be better understood as a sociologist who sought to study and thoroughly analyze the social nature of man and the ‘things’ which result from social life.”—Sociology and Social Life
“Tönnies’ typology has provided a focus for American anthropologists and sociologists in their work on problems of social change. Perhaps of the most general significance, however, are Tönnies’ basic statements on the use of normal concepts in empirical analysis, from which Max Weber’s ‘ideal-typical’ method received its impetus.”—Contemporary Psychology
“Tönnies’ fundamental insight into the types of social organization and their influence on the corresponding types of personality and culture has been generally accepted. Durkheim’s work and Redfield’s folk-urban typology reflect the influence of his thought. Community and Society is a rich, seminal work which will repay careful study by students of theoretical anthropology and sociology.”—The American Anthropologist