1st Edition

Reintroducing Ferdinand Tönnies

By Christopher Adair-Toteff Copyright 2023
    136 Pages
    by Routledge

    136 Pages
    by Routledge

    Exploring, clarifying, and moving beyond the distinction between ‘community’ and ‘society’ for which he is best known, this book rediscovers the work of Ferdinand Tönnies, providing fresh insights into his thought, which are often overlooked for want of a grasp of his background in philosophy. With attention to the fact that Tönnies always wrote from a sociological perspective, it considers the importance of the breadth of his writing on a range of subjects, including politics, philosophy, economics, and ethics, these being the foundations of social policy - a field with which Tönnies was concerned as a scholar who sought not only to understand the world but also to change it for the better. The first book to provide an accessible overview of Tönnies' work that places his thought in context, explores his key concepts, and demonstrates his continuing relevance in sociology - a discipline he helped to establish - Reintroducing Ferdinand Tönnies will appeal to scholars and students with interests in social theory, the history of sociology, and the sociology of Ferdinand Tönnies.


    1. Reintroducing Ferdinand Tönnies
    2. Nietzsche, Marx, and Hobbes and Their Impact on Tönnies’ Intellectual Development
    3.  Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft
    4. Die Sitte and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie
    5. War, Public Opinion, and Sociological Studies
    6. Tönnies’ Later Sociology

    7. Tönnies Reintroduced or Tönnies "Re-discovered?"


    Christopher Adair-Toteff is Fellow at the Center for Social and Political Thought, University of South Florida, USA. A philosopher, sociologist, and social theorist, he has published widely in the field of classical sociology. He is the author of Raymond Aron’s Philosophy of Political Responsibility, Max Weber’s Sociology of Religion, Fundamental Concepts in Max Weber’s Sociology of Religion, and Sociological Beginnings. He is the editor of The Anthem Companion to Ernst Troeltsch and The Anthem Companion to Ferdinand Tönnies, and the co-editor of The Calling of Social Thought: Rediscovering the Work of Edward Shils and The Anthem Companion to Raymond Aron.

    Reintroducing Ferdinand Tönnies is a most welcome and timely volume. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the thought of Ferdinand Tönnies, the emergence of the social sciences, intellectual history, and social theory. It is an ideal text to include in courses in sociological theory and classical sociological thought, given its accessibility, clear layout, and map to the bounteous works of a great leading light … This book serves as a stark reminder that Ferdinand Tönnies – a man whose ideas were key touchstones for Émile Durkheim and Max Weber – is hailed as one of sociology’s founding fathers for very good reason … Most importantly, it adeptly reintroduces us to Ferdinand Tönnies, an eminent scholar worthy of our continued attention.’ - Eric Malczewski, Center for Public Administration and Policy, Virginia Tech, USA