The Criminal Crowd and Other Writings on Mass Society

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University of Toronto Press, Jan 1, 2018 - Crime - 425 pages

The Criminal Crowd and Other Writings on Mass Society is the first collection in English of writings by Italian jurist, sociologist, and cultural and literary critic Scipio Sighele (1868-1913). In post-unification Italy and internationally Sighele was an important figure in contemporary debates on such issues as popular unrest, the problematic borders between individual and collective accountability, the role of urbanization in the development of criminality, and the emancipation of women.

This volume draws an intricate portrait of a provocative thinker and public intellectual caught between tradition and modernity in fin de si?cle Europe. It features new English translations of Sighele's seminal work, The Criminal Crowd, along with a selection of his later studies on criminality and on individual and group behaviour. Nicoletta Pireddu's introduction and annotation provide valuable context and insights on Sighele's contribution to the emerging field of collective psychology, on his relationships with his predecessors Cesare Lombroso and Enrico Ferri and with his French rivals Gustave Le Bon and Gabriel Tarde, and on the significant scientific, literary, and cultural developments of his time.


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Alchemies of the Collective Soul Scipio Sigheles Crimes and Punishments
A Note on the Texts and Their Translations
An Essay on Collective Psychology
A Study in Morbid Psychology
3 From Sectarian Criminality
4 From The Intelligence of the Crowd
5 From The New Woman
6 From Modern Eve
7 From Tragic Literature
8 From In Art and in Science

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About the author (2018)

Scipio Sighele (1868-1913) was an Italian sociologist and criminologist. He studied Law at the University of Rome and taught at the Free University of Brussels from 1892 to 1902.

Nicoletta Pireddu (Ph.D. Comparative Literature, UCLA; Dottorato, English and American Literatures, Ca' Foscari University, Venice) is Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature at Georgetown University. Her research focuses on European literary and cultural relations, intellectual history, critical theories, and translation studies, and has been supported by NEH, Howard Foundation, and Borchard Foundation fellowships. She received the American Association for Italian Studies book prize for Antropologi alla corte della bellezza. Decadenza ed economia simbolica nell'Europa fin de siècle (2002), the "Mario Soldati" award for criticism, the Georgetown FLL Distinguished Service Award, and the Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Other books include The Works of Claudio Magris: Temporary Homes, Mobile Identities, European Borders (2015), and English editions of Paolo Mantegazza's works-- The Physiology of Love and Other Writings (U of Toronto P, 2007) and The Year 3000 (U of Nebraska P, 2010).

Andrew Robbins is a PhD candidate in Italian at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, and owns an MA in Italian Studies from Georgetown University. His research focuses on intersections of science and culture in early 20th-century Italy.

Tom Huhn is the chair of the Art History and BFA Visual & Critical Studies Departments at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He received a PhD in Philosophy from Boston University, and has been a visiting professor at Yale University and the University of Graz, Austria.

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