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A. V. Tkachenko,

MCU, Moscow,



The article deals with the theoretical positions of two classics of social sciences — Gustave Le Bon and Sigmund Freud. On the basis of the analysis of their sociological concepts the author puts forward the thesis about a system approach to social phenomena study in the works of the mentioned scientists. It is emphasized that G. Le Bon and S. Freud perceived society as a social system with its internal structure and proper order.

The concepts of G. Le Bon and S. Freud fit into the general framework of the development of sociology in the late XIX – early XX centuries. European society experienced a serious upheaval that time, and sociologists tried to understand the causes and consequences of manifesting changes. Some parallels are mentioned in the article between Gustave Le Bon and Sigmund Freud’s society views and views made by G. Tarde, E. Tylor, V. Pareto, E. Durkheim, M. Weber, S. Hall, C. Jung, O. Spengler, P. A. Sorokin and P.  A. Florensky.

The most detailed analysis of G. Le Bon’s works is presented here. It is mentioned that he as the French thinker considered civilization as a social system, that developed cyclically from one rise of social activity to another. Each rise was associated with the change of the dominant ideas in the society. According to G. Le Bon, the peculiarity of the developed social system is the presence of many dissatisfied social groups in it. They consist of socially unsuccess ful persons, who want to destroy the system, that prevents their self-realization.

The analyzes of S. Freud’s sociological theory is also presented here in the article. There are several main components of his theory: a society as a point to ensure human needs, social institutions of the society, normative basis for the social order to restrict human freedoms by different types of regulations. A special attention is paid to the fact, that S. Freud emphasized the universal and unconscious nature of dissatisfaction with any social system at the later stage of its development, unlike G. Le Bon.

In the conclusion of the article the author notes the accordance of G. Le Bon and S. Freud’s views with the social realities in Europe after the First World war. Sociological concepts of G. Le Bon and S. Freud are interpreted as an attempt to explain actual social processes from the standpoint of the system approach.


Keywords: sociology; system approach; social system; social institution; social norm; social development; civilization.

For citation: Tkachenko A. V. A System Approach in G. Le Bon and S. Freud’s Sociological Concepts // Systems Psychology and Sociology. 2019. № 2 (30). P. 88–97. DOI: 10.25688/2223-6872.2019.30.2.08


Tkachenko Alexander Vladimirovich, PhD in History, Associate Professor, Docent at the Department of Sociology and Psychosocial Technologies at the Institute of Psychology, Sociology and Social Relations of the Moscow City University, Moscow, Russia.

Е-mail: TkachenkoAV@mgpu.ru





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