Democratic Patterns of Social Interaction



This chapter is devoted to the analysis of the sociological foundations of democracy, and in particular to the notion of democratic patterns of social interaction. The chapter examines three major contributions to the understanding of the social basis of democracy: a plurality of strands of social interactionist approaches in sociology, sociological studies of civilities from Norbert Elias to contemporary French social theory, theories of association from Tocqueville to Habermas, with a focus on the social-theoretic implications of functionalist approaches. The main goal of the chapter is to add some thick sociological flesh to the concept of democratic patterns of social interaction, showing in what they consist, how they can be studied empirically, and why they constitute an indispensable ingredient of the concept of democracy.


Social interactionism Social ontology Associationism Jürgen Habermas Patterns of social interaction 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre Marc BlochBerlinGermany

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