Tarde, Gabriel de (gäbrēĕlˈ də tärd) [key], 1843–1904, French sociologist and criminologist. During his years of public service as a magistrate, he became interested in the psychosocial bases of crime. In Penal Philosophy (1890, tr. 1912) and other early works he criticized the concept of the atavistic criminal as developed by Cesare Lombroso. Later he formulated a general social theory, distinguishing between inventive and imitative persons. Among his works are On Communication and Social Influence (tr. 1969) and The Laws of Imitation (1890, tr. 1903).
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