‘Representation’ is the key theoretical term of Durkheim’s sociology. It is both central to the nature of social experience and to how this is accessed by the social theorist (see Pickering 2000). In the second edition of Les règles Durkheim stated: ‘Social life is entirely made of representations’ ([1895a] 1987:xi). He made this statement with an obvious degree of irritation, for he insisted that he had ‘expressly stated and repeated (this) in every way’ (ibid). Durkheim had clearly been stung by accusations that he had denied the ‘mental element’ from social experience.