chapter  12
Gabriel Tarde and statistical movement
Pages 40

Today statistics is almost always thought of as a photograph, a fixed image of reality, which is itself always changing (this being Durkheim’s notion of it). Tarde thought differently; he championed a theory of statistics as a specific means of expressing changes in society. For him, statistics is not static, as its etymology might lead one to think, but rather dynamic. This conception of statistics by Tarde is interesting because it is original and surprising, but above all because Tarde makes statistics an absolutely central mechanism of his sociology. He considers it much more than a simple method; rather than being a secondary tool, for him, there would be no sociology without statistics.2