This article attempts to put forward new perspectives on solidarity in Durkheim's work, useful for an understanding of contemporary reality. First, it sketches why his modern 'cult of man' should be understood as an instance of mechanical solidarity, and discusses how to generalize this scenario and move beyond the idea of the 'cult of man' as mechanical solidarity's sole modern instance. Next, it investigates some of the shortcomings of Durkheim's diagnosis of modernity itself. This is in an effort to show how these shortcomings – reflected in his critique of the modern economy, his interactionism, his focus on the whole and his insensitivity to the ephemeral and aesthetic – led Durkheim to overlook the persistence of mechanical solidarity in the modern world and hindered him from developing the explanatory potential of his sociology of religion in a modern context. The article then explores the dynamic, decentred, 'individualized' and mediated nature of contemporary forms of collective formation by selectively extrapolating from the relation in Durkheim's work between the individual and the social. Finally, in returning to the question of mechanical solidarity in modern society, it outlines the contours of a concept of collective consciousness applicable to a modern setting.
Where Did It Go?
This article explores the significance of recently discovered records of Durkheim's university library loans during his time at Bordeaux. After introducing and explaining the nature of these records, and presenting various quantitative and qualitative issues raised by them, the article concentrates on understanding Durkheim's loans through tracking the different main uses he made of them. This first involves their role in his publications, but is then above all a concern with how they fed into his lectures. Discussion starts with his courses in sociology, moves on to those in education and psychology, and finishes with his preparation of students for an examination in philosophy (the agrégation). Although a few of Durkheim's courses survive, his library loans are a way to throw light on lectures that mostly seem lost forever.
Stéphane Gumpper & Franklin Rausky (eds), Dictionnaire de psychologie et psychopathologie des religions, Montrouge : Bayard, 2013, 1372 p.
W. S. F. Pickering and Raquel Weiss
Durkheimian studies around the world have suffered a great loss, a totally unexpected tragic one, in the early death of Massimo Rosati. Here was a formidable, up-and-coming Italian scholar, whose work was much influenced by Durkheim and of whom he was a notable interpreter. Now, at the age of forty-four, he has died.
Durkheim, Psychology and the 'Dualism of Human Nature'
Against readings that have emphasized Durkheim's sociological realism and reductionism, this article examines the role of individuality and psychology in his theory. In particular, Durkheim's approach to representations is the proof of the crucial importance he assigned to mental processes in the construction of social life. Durkheim showed the relation of representations to the collectivity – how ideas promote the sense of community – and in this context he emphasized their epistemological ramifications. Specifically, he pointed to a series of dualisms that remained unexplained by psychological analysis, including the one posing rational against affective logic. While arguing for the preeminence of ideas in Durkheim's view of society, the article also recognizes the limitations that marred his efforts at reconciling the individual with society. Most notably, his genetic approach and his account of the central role of affect in the creation of the social made Durkheim vulnerable to criticism. Even his late essay on the dualism of human nature, which testifies to his lifelong confrontations with psychology, left a whole set of questions unanswered about his theory's applicability to historical forms of institutionalization of the social, especially in modernity.
Jean-François Bert and Nicolas Meylan
L’histoire des sciences humaines et sociales, du moins telle qu’elle est racontée dans les manuels généralistes, tend à nous faire oublier que les savoirs savants s’inscrivent aussi dans des conversations, des interactions et des rencontres. Les idées naissent plus souvent qu’on ne le pense de situations et de conditions « normales ». Aussi, et comme l’a bien montré Christian Topalov en analysant en détail le cas du sociologue Maurice Halbwachs en visite aux Etats-Unis, il est parfois profitable d’en passer par une « ethnographie des pratiques d’un savant », c’est-à-dire de suivre ses cheminements dans les réseaux, de découvrir ses occupations, ses rencontres, ses lectures jusqu’à ses promenades (Topalov 2012 : 12–13).
Jean-Christophe Marcel and Mike Gane
Raymond Boudon (ed.), Durkheim fut-il durkheimien? Jean-Christophe Marcel
Marcel Mauss, Techniques, technologie et civilisation, ed. N. Schlanger
Jean-François Bert (ed.), 'Les Techniques du corps' de Marcel Mauss: Dossier critique Mike Gane
Márcio de Oliveira
Durkheim's trajectory in Brazil began at the end of the nineteenth century. His work went on to become influential in the creation of Brazil's first social sciences courses at São Paolo and in the career of one of Brazil's most important sociologists, Florestan Fernandes. Currently, Durkheim remains one of the most quoted social theorists in Brazil, and his books are mandatory for every social science course in Brazilian universities. But he has not inspired many followers, and there are very few Durkheim experts in Brazil. This article attempts to understand this apparent paradox through a critical account of the main moments of Durkheim's career in Brazil, from the beginning to the present day.
Explication Entries are in the chronological order of Durkheim’s requests, and are set out as follows: entry number; author’s surname; text’s main title; year of publication; [remarks]; catalogue number; *[number of a corresponding loan]
William Watts Miller. A Durkheimian Quest: Solidarity and the Sacred. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2012, 275 pp.