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Social Avalanche


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; List of figures; 1. Introduction: reimagining collective life; 2. Fin-de-siecle landslides; 3. Tensional individuality; 4. Social avalanches; 5. Cities; 6. Financial markets; Conclusion; Index.

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A compelling account of how crowd dynamics, or social avalanches, are central to cities and financial markets.

About the Author

Christian Borch is professor of economic sociology and social theory at the Copenhagen Business School. He is author of several books, including the award-winning The Politics of Crowds: An Alternative History of Sociology (2012).


'Internationally known for his work on the role played by the crowd theory in the origins of sociology, particularly in France at the end of the nineteenth century (The Politics of Crowds: An Alternative History of Sociology, Cambridge, 2012), Christian Borch, in this new book, develops a critical reinterpretation of this tradition which brought him to build a completely original conceptual apparatus. One of the interests of this frame is to render again social sciences attentive to the plasticity and uncertainty of social processes. Its empirical implementation sheds a new light on crucial and misunderstood aspects of our modernity, particularly in the financial sphere. An important book that will trigger new debates in social sciences.' Luc Boltanski, School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Paris
'In Social Avalanche: Crowds, Cities and Financial Markets, Christian Borch brilliantly re-reads nineteenth- and early twentieth-century social, cultural and economic theories to reveal how they identified the tensions experienced by modern individuals trying to hold themselves together in crowds that also carried them away. Borch makes new connections between denizens of cities on the verge of losing their individuality in social avalanches and algorithms running off the rails in high-frequency-driven 'Flash Crashes'. A fascinating read deeply relevant to our current era.' Robin Wagner-Pacifici, University in Exile Professor of Sociology, New School for Social Research, New York

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