Contemporary relational sociologies

a presentation based on Robinson Crusoe

This paper studies the deployment of contemporary relational sociology in its three forms: network analysis, field theory and actor-network theory. To make these three approaches, and the methodological relationalism of which they are the proof, easily accessible, the article takes as its basis Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe’s famous novel. The paper concludes by showing how the difference in approaches translates into a difference in the way collectives are built.

The author

Philippe Steiner is professor of sociology at Paris-Sorbonne University. Researcher at GEMASS, he conducts his research on economic sociology and the history of social sciences. He recently published Donner… Une histoire de l’altruisme (Presses universitaires de France, 2016) and co-directed with S. Naulin La solidarité à distance. Quand le don passe par les organisations, (Presses universitaires du Midi, 2016).

The text

This text was written to sensitize diverse audiences to the variety of relational sociologies. This version is in reading at the European Journal of Social Sciences.

Citing this document: 

Philippe Steiner, Les sociologies relationnelles contemporaines : Notes à partir de Robinson Crusoé, FMSH-WP-2018-137, novembre 2018.

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