Giovanni Barbieri

Forgetting Pareto

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The 19th August 2023 marked the one-hundredth anniversary of Vilfredo Pareto’s death. Over the years, he has been widely perceived by most of the scholars in a twofold way: on the one hand, he is usually included, with Marx, Durkheim and Weber, among the masters of sociological thought; on the other hand, he is also considered an annoying author, which is not worth dealing with. Should we therefore stop analyzing his works since they are completely outdated? The article tries to demonstrate that it is not advisable to do this, because the Paretian reflection and analytical framework are turning to be extremely useful for depicting some of the current most important social and political phenomena. In particular, the article focuses on three aspects of Pareto’s work that, as we will discuss, seem to be extremely topical: his ‘sociology of emotions’, the elite theory, and the concept of demagogic plutocracy


  • Vilfredo Pareto
  • classical sociology
  • sociology of emotions
  • the elite theory
  • the demagogic plutocracy


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