Le Play, Frédéric

▪ French sociologist
in full  Pierre-Guillaume-Frédéric Le Play 
born April 11, 1806, La Rivière-Saint-Sauveur, France
died April 5, 1882, Paris

      French mining engineer and sociologist who developed techniques for systematic research on the family.

      Le Play was engineer in chief and a professor of metallurgy at the École des Mines from 1840 and the inspector of the school from 1848. He devoted his spare time to sociological research until about 1855, when, dismayed by the conditions of industrial labourers and by the recurring revolutions in France, he gave up mining in favour of sociology. He served as a senator from 1867, but, after his country's defeat in the Franco-German War of 1870–71, he also abandoned politics.

      As a sociologist, Le Play opposed the then-fashionable notion of society's continuous evolutionary progress. He viewed the family as the chief agent of social stability and moral authority in the face of industrialization and its accompanying social conflicts, and he propounded a theory of cyclic changes in society that were related to rises or declines in family morale. In the course of gathering data for his theories, Le Play developed what is now known as the case-study method, in which a field-worker lives with a family for a period of time, gathering data on the family members' attitudes and interactions and on their income, expenditures, and physical possessions. The development of statistical sampling, fundamental to social survey methodology, was influenced by Le Play's method of collating data that he obtained through field research.

      Le Play published his findings on family and society in the six-volume study Les Ouvriers européens (1855; “European Workers”), in La Réforme sociale en France, 2 vol. (1864; “Social Reform in France”), and in L'Organisation du travail (1870; “The Organization of Labor”).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Le Play, Frédéric — (1866 1882)    engineer, economist, sociologist    Born in La Rivière Saint Sauveur, Calvados, Frédéric Le Play was a graduate of the École polytechnique and served as a counselor of state (1855) and senator (1867 70). He also created the Société …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Frédéric Michalak — Date of birth 16 October 1982 (1982 10 16) (age 29) Place of birth Toulouse, France …   Wikipedia

  • Frederic Moser — Frédéric Moser Frédéric Moser (né en 1966 à Saint Imier) est un artiste suisse qui vit et travaille à Berlin en duo avec Philippe Schwinger. Sommaire 1 Formation 2 Thématique de la recherche artistique 3 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Frédéric Hanvi — (born May 2, 1989 in Senelis, France) is a French baseball player. He was signed to a seven year Minor League Contract with the Minnesota Twins organization, and will join the team in February 2009. He is the second French player to be signed to… …   Wikipedia

  • Frédéric Bastiat — Classical liberalism Born 30 June 1801(1801 06 30) Bayonne, France Died 24 …   Wikipedia

  • Frédéric Artru — Naissance 7 octobre 1969 Pau, France Nationalité Française …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Frederic Lansing Day — was an American playwright b. 1886 in Boston, Massachusetts d. 1982 in New Hampshire. Frederic Day (also known as Fritz ) the son of H.B. Day the founder of the Day Trust Company was a Socialist and Unitarian. He graduated from Yale in 1908 and… …   Wikipedia

  • Frederic Colier — (born August 2, 1963) is a filmmaker, playwright, novelist and musician. [http://www.independentfilmweek.com/images/2008 Emerging Narrative Projects.pdf independentfilmweek.com] , PDF document: page 40, screenplay Made in China , an emerging… …   Wikipedia

  • Frederic Sarre — Frédéric Sarre Frédéric Sarre, né le 28 avril 1961 est un entraîneur français de basket ball Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Clubs successifs 3 Palmarès 3.1 Club …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Frédéric Château — Naissance 25 novembre 1964 (1964 11 25) (46 ans) , Paris Pays d’origine   …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.