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'Rates of Exchange' Rather than Intellectual Exchanges

An Unknown Correspondence between Marcel Mauss and Victor Branford (1923–24) about the Franco-British Relationship in Interwar Sociology

Baudry Rocquin

The newly found exchange of letters between Marcel Mauss and Victor Branford dated 1926 testifies to the active exchanges between both their traditions. Durkheimian sociology owed a great deal to the Branford-Geddes network of colleagues across the Channel, not less than a funding of the republication of their iconic journal, the Année sociologique. On the other hand, Branford was far from apologetic about his own tradition of thought and even went as far as to criticize the Institut Français de Sociologie in the 1920s. All this shows the enduring links between both countries in the field of sociology, contrary to what has often been held.

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Un manuscrit inédit de Durkheim

Physique générale du droit et des moeurs, IVe Année du Cours. 1re Leçon, 2 Décembre 1899, Plan du Cours – Les Sanctions pénales

Émile Durkheim and François Pizarro Noël

*Full article is in French

French abstract: Ce texte daté du 2 décembre 1899 est la première leçon de la quatrième année du cours de Durkheim sur la Physique générale du droit et des moeurs. Il est intitulé Plan du Cours – Les Sanctions pénales. Dans la première partie du texte, Durkheim présente le plan de cette dernière année du cours. Il se propose d’abord de compléter l’étude de l’éthique objective des systèmes de morale familiale, professionnelle, civique et juridique (que nous connaissons parce qu’elles ont été publiées dans les fameuses Leçons de sociologie) par l’étude objective des sanctions et responsabilités. Cette première partie du cours sera consacrée à la théorie spéciale des sanctions (négatives pénales et civiles, positives) et responsabilités. La dernière partie du cours, sa conclusion, portera sur l’éthique subjective. Une fois ce plan de cours exposé, dans la deuxième partie du texte, Durkheim propose une définition sociologique de la sanction pénale qu’il justifie d’abord par la réfutation des définitions de la peine qui postulent un lien entre souffrance et peine. Ensuite, pour illustrer le caractère sociologique et justifier sa définition préalable de la peine, Durkheim commence à présenter une typologie des sanctions négatives (sanctions punitives pénales, publiques ou privées, sanctions restitutives civiles, etc.). Au terme de sa leçon, il considère avoir défini la peine de manière sociologique, c’est-à-dire en s’en tenant aux caractéristiques extérieures les plus saillantes de son objet, sans recourir à l’intention du patient ou du législateur ni à la question de la responsabilité.

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An Unpublished Manuscript by Durkheim

‘On the General Physics of Law and Morality, 4th Year of the Course, 1st Lecture, December 2, 1899, Course Outline: On Penal Sanctions’

Émile Durkheim, François Pizarro Noël and Ronjon Paul Datta

This is the first English translation of Durkheim’s lecture for the first class of the fourth and final year of his course ‘On the General Physics of Law and Morality’. The content from the previous year’s course is contained in Professional Ethics and Civic Morals (Durkheim [1950] 1992). Durkheim discusses the importance of a special theory of sanctions and provides a typology of their negative and positive forms. He makes a case for the sociology of penalties and responsibilities, one based on the examination of their external and visible characteristics. Crucially, Durkheim displaces the ostensible causal importance of the intentions of juridical subjects, whether legislators or wrong-doers. The translation is accompanied by an extended critical introduction by R. P. Datta and Fr. Pizarro Noël.

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Jing Zhang

*Full article is in French

English abstract: This literature review presents seven major works on Durkheim written by leading Chinese researchers and published during the last 10 years. Some of them try to analyse Durkheim’s views in order to understand contemporary Chinese society, by questioning what Durkheim teaches us about moral education, or by examining his conception of the nation. Others are more in the nature of scholarly commentary on his theory, whether by examining notions of anomie, the division of labour, suicide or a moral science.

French abstract: Cette revue de littérature présente sept principales publications (écrites par des chercheurs parmi les plus reconnus) consacrées à l’oeuvre de Durkheim en Chine et parues durant les dix dernières années. Certaines d’entre elles s’essayent à analyser l’actualité de Durkheim pour comprendre la société chinoise contemporaine, en interrogeant ce que Durkheim nous apprend à propos de l’éducation morale, ou encore en examinant sa conception de la nation. D’autres relèvent plus du commentaire érudit de sa théorie, que ce soit en se penchant sur la notion d’anomie, de division du travail, sur le suicide ou encore la science morale.

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Beholding Ourselves

Black Girls as Creators, Subjects, and Witnesses

Erin M. Stephens and Jamaica Gilmer

The bus was full of excited chatter as it pulled up in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (known universally as The Met) on Fifth Avenue on a cold morning in January. Thirteen girls, along with invited loved ones, had traveled for nine-and-a-half hours from Durham, NC, to view their art displayed in the exhibit, “Pens, Lens, and Soul: The Story of The Beautiful Project” (hereafter, “Pens, Lens, and Soul”). First, the girls filed off the bus to take a photograph on the steps of The Met. As their family and friends waited to disembark, they laughed and shivered while posing for numerous photographs and videos on the cold steps. As they stood at the bottom of the steps of the grand prestigious museum, the impressiveness of their accomplishment was just beginning to dawn on many of them. As she walked around the exhibit one of the artists would comment, “I feel surprised because I didn’t realize it was this big of a thing and I was here and it’s a thing, it’s a big thing … we are capable of doing anything.”

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Putting Together the Anthropology of Tax and the Anthropology of Ethics

Soumhya Venkatesan

Placing the anthropology of tax and taxation in conversation with the anthropology of ethics yields productive insights into both subfields. This is because discussions and disputations about tax and taxation reveal the ways in which people articulate and evaluate their relations with others, with the state, with ‘ought’ and ‘is’, and in terms of ownership and responsibility. They open up the complex relationship between legal obligations construed as moral and ethical understandings that are grounded in reflection and seek to articulate and enact particular understandings of the ‘good’ and ‘right’. This afterword draws on my own research with English right-wing activists, the articles that make up this special issue, and key discussions in the anthropology of ethics.

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Against Analogy

Why Analogical Arguments in Support of Workplace Democracy Must Necessarily Fail

Roberto Frega

This article asks whether the analogy between state and firm is a promising strategy for promoting workplace democracy and provides a negative answer, explaining why analogical arguments are not a good strategy for justifying workplace democracy. The article contends that the state-firm analogy is misguided for at least three reasons: (1) it is structurally inconclusive, (2) it is based on a category mistake, and (3) it leads us away from the central question we should ask, which is: What would concretely imply, and what is required, in order to democratize the workplace? I begin by offering an interpretation of the state-firm analogy which shows that use of the analogical argument in Dahl’s justification of workplace democracy engenders excessive and unnecessary theoretical costs which bear negatively on his conclusion. I then proceed to examine more recent contributions to the debate and show that supporters and critics of the state-firm analogy alike do not advance our understanding of the analogical argument. In the last part of the article I provide a general theoretical explanation of why arguments based on the state-firm analogy are not good candidates for defending workplace democracy.

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Asymmetries of Spatial Contestations

Controlling Protest Spaces and Coalition-Building during the Iranian December 2017 Protests

Tareq Sydiq

Based on fieldwork carried out from 2017 and 2018, this article examines various attempts to both organize publicly and disrupt such attempts during the Iranian protests during that time. It argues that interference with spatial realities influenced the social coalitions built during the protests, impacting the capacity of actors to build such coalitions. The post-2009 adaptation of the state inhibited cross-class coalitions despite being challenged, while actors used spatial phrasing indicating they perceived spatial divisions to emulate political ones. Meanwhile, in the immediate aftermath of the December 2017 protests, further attempts to control protest actions impacted not only those who would be able to participate in such events in the future, but also those who felt represented by them and who would be likely to sympathize with them. Based on the spatial conditions under which coalitions form, I argue that asymmetrical contestations of spatiality determined the outcome of the December 2017 protests and may contribute to an understanding of how alliances in Iran will form in the future.

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‘At the Mercy of the German Eagle’

Images of London in Dissolution in the Novels of William Le Queux

Antony Taylor

In the years before 1914 the novels of William Le Queux provided a catalyst for British debates about the economic, military and political failures of the empire and featured plots that embodied fears about new national and imperial rivals. For Le Queux, the capture of London was integral to German military occupation. Representative of the nation’s will to resist, or its inability to withstand attack, the vitality of London was always at issue in his novels. Drawing on contemporary fears about the capital and its decay, this article considers the moral panics about London and Londoners and their relationship to Britain’s martial decline reflected in his stories. Engaging with images of anarchist and foreign terrorism, and drawing on fears of covert espionage rings operating in government circles, this article probes the ways in which Le Queux’s fiction expressed concerns about London as a degenerate metropolis in the process of social and moral collapse.

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Austrian "Gypsies" in the Italian archives

Historical ethnography on multiple border crossings at the beginning of the twentieth century

Paola Trevisan

The archival documents I work with concern Sinti (“Gypsy”) families belonging to the Austrian Empire, stopped by the Italian authorities between 1908 and 1912. By following Anna Laura Stoler’s proposition, I read the police records through an ethnographic lens, connecting the anti-Gypsy policy of both states with the strategies adopted by the Sinti families to inhabit and/or cross borders. Thus, the border becomes the space where the sovereignty of the state came into play and where the categories of “citizen” and “foreigner” become explicit through the daily controls on those who attempt to cross. Intertwining research in the archives with anthropological literature and fieldwork, this article presents a historical ethnography of those Sinti families who experienced the borders as “Gypsies,” a category that calls for critical analysis because it goes beyond the foreigner/citizen dichotomy.