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Moral Humanism and the Question of Holism

Historical Reflections

Susan Stedman Jones

This paper explores the nature of Durkheim’s theoretical language concerning the whole and the individual. I look at the questions of holism and individualism throughout his thought, but I particularly focus on ‘L’individualisme et les intellectuels’, where he enters the debate over the Dreyfus affair, espousing the language of intellectual and moral right. I examine the historical and philosophical background of this and the tensions between individualism and socialism, within neglected aspects of French political history. Here a new language of individuality and right was forged, not simply through the pressure of events, but through a re-thinking of socialist holism from within a philosophical tradition.

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The Paradox of Neo-liberalism

Mike Gane

In the spring and summer of 1938 two quite different seminars took place in Paris. One was the very well-known Collège de Sociologie, which included the participation of Caillois and Bataille – see ‘Sacred Sociology of the Contemporary World’, 2 April 1938, and the session ‘Festival’, 2 May 1939, in which Caillois indicates the importance of sacred games (in Hollier 1988: 157–159, 279–303). The other was the Walter Lippman Colloque, 26–30 August 1938 (in Rougier 1939). The former was the significant forerunner of French sociology and philosophy – from Derrida to Baudrillard – decisively influenced by Marcel Mauss.

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The Politics of the Future

Émile Durkheim

It is quite difficult to diagnose the state of mind that France will be in at the end of the war, and accordingly what, at that time, will be the dominant political movement.

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'The Politics of the Future'

An Unknown Text by Émile Durkheim

Jennifer Mergy

In April 1917, the daily newspaper La Dépêche de Toulouse – The Toulouse Wire – published Durkheim’s response to a survey entitled ‘The Politics of the Future’. Along with a number of politicians, economists and intellectuals, the sociologist was asked to give his opinion on party politics after the end of the war, and specifically on the country’s economic reconstruction.

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Towards a New Cultural Sociology

Alexander Riley

Jeffrey Alexander, Bernhard Giesen and Jason Mast (eds.), Social Performance: Symbolic Action, Cultural Pragmatics and Ritual, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006, 374 pp.

Ron Eyerman and Lisa McCormick (eds.), Myth, Meaning, and Performance: Toward a New Cultural Sociology of the Arts, Boulder: Paradigm Publishers, 2006, 166 pp.

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Book Reviews

Keith Hart, Florence Weber, Nathan Schlanger, Gavin Flood, and Mike Gane

Marcel Mauss, Manual of Ethnography, edited by N. J. Allen, translated by D. Lussier, Oxford and New York: Durkheim Press/Berghahn Press, 2007, pp. 212.

Marcel Mauss, Techniques, Technology and Civilisation, edited and introduced by Nathan Schlanger, New York and Oxford, Durkheim Press/ Berghahn Books, 2006, pp. 178.

Marcel Mauss, Essai sur le don. Forme et raison de l’échange dans les sociétés archaïques, introduction de Florence Weber, Paris: Quadrige/ Presses Universitaires de France, [1925] 2007.

Louise Child, Tantric Buddhism and Altered States of Consciousness: Durkheim, Emotional Energy and Visions of the Consort, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007, pp. vii, 197.

James Dingley, Nationalism, Social Theory and Durkheim, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, pp. 221.

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Deux siècles de solidarité(s)

Massimo Borlandi

Marie-Claude Blais, La solidarité. Histoire d’une idée, Paris : Gallimard, 2007, pp. 352.

Serge Paugam (sous la direction de), Repenser la solidarité. L’apport des sciences sociales, Paris : Presses Universitaires de France, 2007, pp. 982.

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Durkheim and Socialization

Guy van de Walle

Among the many theories of socialization, that of Durkheim stands out. While most analyses of socialization are individualistic, that of Durkheim is holistic. This singularity presents a challenge to the modern mind, which is dominated by individualism. Reading Durkheim's analysis of socialization, like the rest of his work, requires the difficult task of overcoming one's natural tendency to do so through an individualistic lens. This paper is an attempt to restore the original holistic meaning of this analysis. It aims to correct some of Durkheim's commentators' re-interpretations of his views and the everyday language that he uses in individualistic terms. Particular attention is given to Durkheim's distinction between authority and power. This distinction has huge implications for Durkheim's interpretation of socialization, which he sees as a process that primarily involves a particular relationship - one that he describes in terms of 'submission' - with the authority of society.

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'Durkheim et Cie'

A New Biography

Mike Hawkins

Marcel Fournier, Emile Durkheim (1858–1917), Paris: Fayard, 2007, pp. 940.

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Expliquer les régularités sociales

Durkheim critique et continuateur de Quetelet

Massimo Borlandi

Le premier chapitre du livre III du Suicide, ‘L’élément social du suicide’ (incontestablement le coeur de l’ouvrage selon son auteur), commence par le résumé de l’explication qu’Émile Durkheim vient de donner (dans le livre II) des régularités du phénomène dont il s’occupe. Ce résumé est suivi d’une digression sur Adolphe Quetelet et son oeuvre à laquelle le lecteur averti (contemporain de Durkheim) s’attend depuis déjà plusieurs pages.