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On the theory of social innovations: Tarde's neglected contribution to the development of a sociological innovation theory

Zur Theorie sozialer Innovationen: Tardes vernachlässigter Beitrag zur Entwicklung einer soziologischen Innovationstheorie

Howaldt, Jürgen; Kopp, Ralf; Schwarz, Michael

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Abstract The term 'social innovation' is currently becoming increasingly significant in social and political discourse. However, so far there is still no theoretically grounded, practicable concept of social innovation. Through recourse to the social theory of Gabriel Tarde, with its focus on social inventions and social practices of imitation, social innovation can be identified as a specific mechanism of change, and hence the analytical perspective can be directed towards society as a locus of innovation. This provides valuable input for an integrative theory of innovation, and for the analysis and shaping of social transformation processes.
Keywords social change; diffusion; innovation; imitation; sociological theory
Classification General Sociology, Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Sociology, Sociological Theories
Free Keywords social innovation; social practices; reconfiguration; practical theory; theory of practices; microfoundation; innovation theory; cross sector fertilization; real experiments; Multi-Level-Governance; new innovation paradigm; open innovation
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Publisher Beltz Juventa
City Weinheim
Page/Pages 100 p.
Status Postprint; not reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution