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Les carrières de Durkheim en Amérique, Angleterre et France

Matthieu Béra

François Pizarro Noël. Du désaveu du social à la présentation nominaliste: Le mouvement de réception de Durkheim (1893-1939), Thèse de Doctorat, Université du Québec à Montréal, 2009, 500 pp, en ligne : www.archipel .ugam.ca/3116/l/D1859.pdf.

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The Mystery of Some 'Last Things' of Émile Durkheim

Notes for a Research Project

W. S. F. Pickering

For most of Durkheim’s admirers it all ended when he died on 15 November 1917. Or at least one is apt to get that impression in reading the classic study of Durkheim’s life by Steven Lukes (1973). He concludes his book, as indeed he intended to, with the death of the great pioneer of sociology in France. Lukes knew, as we all know, that Durkheim’s death did not mean the end of the appearance of items written by him. Attempts were made by a decimated Année sociologique group under the far less affi rmative leadership of Durkheim’s nephew, Marcel Mauss, to continue along the path set by the great master. Former manuscripts and letters of Durkheim’s were published as members of the group continued to write about him and propagate his ideas.1 But in one very certain way, his empire had come to an end. Beyond 1917, the general interest in France, that had been so strong in the first two decades of the twentieth century, waned. All that followed had to be seen as something that was purely historical, albeit a small number of disciples endeavoured to extend their master’s ideas.

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Books Reviews

William Watts Miller, W. S. F. Pickering, and Nick Allen

Jacques Coenen-Huther. Comprendre Durkheim, Paris: Armand Colin, 2010, 220 pp.

I. Strenski (ed.) Émile Durkheim, Farnham: Ashgate, 2010, 550 pp. R. Cotterrell (ed.) Émile Durkheim: Justice, Morality and Politics, Farnham: Ashgate, 2010, 475 pp.

Mélèze. Marcel Mauss et son frère Henri, Lille: The Book Edition, 2010, 187 pp.

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David, Émile

Les ambivalences de l’identité juive de Durkheim

Matthieu Béra

This is based on research that has discovered crucial, hitherto unknown biographical information. First, I review the theories of authors who helped to generate the whole 'affair' of Durkheim's two pre-names, most often in seeing it as a way to interrogate his relation with Judaism. Next, I discuss how the issue comes with elements that are incomplete or inexact. It is then to present new evidence of Durkheim's ambivalence and changing attitude towards his first, identifiably Jewish pre-name. The census records during his time at Bordeaux show that he registered himself as 'David' in 1891 and 1896, but abandoned this and switched to 'Émile' in 1901. Accordingly, I examine possible interpretations of the change, in terms of the political context of the Dreyfus Affair, events in his family life, his institutional position, his growing reputation, and a programme of research in which he resolved on a scientific treatment of religion.

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A Durkheimian Account of Globalization

The Construction of Global Moral Culture

David Inglis

What might Durkheim's writings teach us today about the nature of globalization processes and a globalized world condition? This paper contends that Durkheim has a great deal of relevance for social scientific understandings of contemporary globalization. His distinctive contribution involved understanding the genesis and nature of a world-level moral culture. This vision entailed a significant sociological recasting of Kant's cosmopolitan political philosophy. The paper reconstructs Durkheim's account of world moral culture from writings that stretch throughout his career. For each of the major texts considered, the paper points out some of the important intellectual antecedents that Durkheim may have drawn upon, or which have notable resonances with what he was endeavouring to achieve. The overall argument is that the Durkheimian vision of globalization stands as a major corrective to radical critiques of globalization which reduce it to being a simple product of capitalism and imperialism. The moral dimensions of globalization have to be considered as much as these factors, which the paper takes to be Durkheim's major lesson for globalization studies today.

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From Solidarity to Social Inclusion

The Political Transformations of Durkheimianism

Derek Robbins

The article begins with Pierre Rosanvallon's account of the mutations of 'Jacobin ideology' and the function of sociology in criticising this in France at the end of the nineteenth century. I suggest it was not Durkheim's intention simply to criticise a 'Jacobin' form of political ideology. Rather, it was to construct an affinity between sociological explanation and social facts, such that sociological discourse would appropriate the sphere of the political and take part, by so doing, in the constitution of a participative social democracy. I then touch on the post-mortem academicisation of Durkheim's work in France between the wars, to ask if the emergent Durkheimianism neutralised Durkheim's original socio-political intentions. This leads to a discussion of the resurgent domination of the discourse of politics in the 1960s, as manifested in Aron's critiques of Durkheim and in his defence of constitutional law at the beginning of the Fifth Republic, but also to an examination of Bourdieu's attempt to retrieve Durkheim's original orientation and to revive the political dynamism of social movements. I comment on the analysis, made in the 1970s by Bourdieu (and Boltanski), of the construction of the dominant postwar ideology in French politics, which includes their critique of 'planification' and of the work, amongst others, of Jacques Delors. They saw the language used by the newly dominant political managers as exploiting the sociological discourse of 'solidarity' and 'social exclusion', not to realize its intentions, but to reinforce their own control. I briefly consider the argument's implications for an analysis of European Commission social policy initiatives during the presidency of Delors, comment on the British Conservative government's objections in the 1980s and 1990s to the very use of this language, and ask if the Labour government's adoption of the discourse of 'social inclusion' in 1997 was indicative of either a political or a social agenda. Finally, I return to Rosanvallon and situate his work politically within the ideological debate of 1995 between him and Bourdieu. It is to conclude with the suggestion that Rosanvallon's apparent disinclination to recognize the importance of Durkheim's work is indicative of his present position-taking, which necessarily entails a suppression of Durkheim's real intentions.

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La conférence de René Maublanc sur ‘Marx et Durkheim’ (20 décembre 1934)

Isabelle Gouarné

Le texte publié ici apporte un éclairage nouveau sur l’histoire des relations entre marxisme et durkheimisme. Son auteur est René Maublanc (1891– 1960). Normalien (promotion 1911) et agrégé de philosophie (1919), il fut l’élève d’Émile Durkheim de 1911 à 1914, et fut même l’ami de son fils André, mort aux combats en 1915. Au cours des années 1920, alors qu’il s’était engagé dans une carrière enseignante, Maublanc resta inséré dans l’univers durkheimien. Il participa à l’ENS aux activités du Centre de Documentation sociale, fondé en novembre 1920 et dirigé par Célestin Bouglé (Marcel 2001: chap. 5). De 1923 à 1925, il y travailla comme secrétairearchiviste, poursuivant des recherches sur l’histoire des doctrines sociales, en particulier sur Charles Fourier dont les papiers avaient été reçus en héritage par le Centre (Coeuré 1995).

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Marx et Durkheim

Réné Maublanc

La mémoire d’Émile DURKHEIM a été très violemment attaquée en ces dernières années par de jeunes philosophes marxistesa, qui ne l’ont d’ailleurs pas connu personnellement et n’ont pas subi l’influence directe de son enseignement. René JOLY, dans une série d’articles sur « le prétendu matérialisme de DURKHEIM », le considère comme un représentant typique de la bourgeoisie, un défendeur de tous les privilèges capitalistes, l’auteur d’une philosophie qui porte un « caractère de classe ». À l’usage de ceux qui ont parlé d’un matérialisme durkheimien, il écrit.

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Marxisme et durkheimisme dans l’entre-deux-guerres en France

Isabelle Gouarné

Cet article examine quand et comment la référence conjointe à Durkheim et Marx est devenue pensable dans l'univers des sciences humaines françaises. Malgré l'ancrage durable du marxisme en France, cette question n'a guère été étudiée. On se propose donc ici de rendre compte du travail réalisé, au cours des années 1930, par des intellectuels situés à la jonction de l'univers des sciences sociales durkheimiennes et du monde communiste, et de préciser ainsi à quelles conditions les oppositions très vives de Durkheim et de ses disciples vis-à-vis du matérialisme historique ont pu être levées.

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Return of the Sacred?

Ronjon Paul Datta

Alexander Tristan Riley. Godless Intellectuals? The Intellectual Pursuit of the Sacred Reinvented, New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2010, 298 pp.