The Theory of Play/Games and Sacrality in Popular Culture

The Relevance of Roger Caillois for Contemporary Neo-Durkheimian Cultural Theory

in Durkheimian Studies
Author:
Alexander T. Riley Bucknell University alexandertriley@gmail.com

Search for other papers by Alexander T. Riley in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

The question of the trajectory of Durkheimian thought after the death of Durkheim in 1917 is of great interest to many scholars. Increasing attention has been paid in recent years to the place of the Collége de Sociologie in that legacy (e.g., Hollier 1979; Kurasawa 1998; Richman 2002; Marroquin 2005). The focus of much of this scholarship, however, has been on one participant in the Collége, Georges Bataille. Both those who see the Collége as a legitimate inheritor of the Durkheimian mantle (e.g., Richman 2002) and those who do not (e.g., Marcel 2001) place central importance on the person and work of Bataille. There were however other members of the Collége, some of whom in fact had a much closer institutional connection to the Durkheimian group through Durkheim's nephew, Marcel Mauss, than Bataille did. Roger Caillois is perhaps the most important of these others. (1) The work of Caillois is still relatively little known outside the French-speaking world. Largely considered a figure of the literary avant-garde when he is known at all among English-speaking academics, (2) he was in fact a thinker of immensely broad interests, with intellectual connections spanning from surrealist circles to Durkheimian ethnography. Unlike Bataille, he actually studied under Marcel Mauss (and Georges Dumézil) and some of the most compelling work he authored took up themes he explicitly recognized as having to do with sociology and social theory.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

Durkheimian Studies

Études Durkheimiennes

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 283 140 10
Full Text Views 114 7 0
PDF Downloads 111 11 0