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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

Abstract

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.

Résumé

Un nouvel échange de lettres entre Marcel Mauss et le sociologue britannique Victor Branford daté de 1926 a été retrouvé. Il dépeint les relations actives qui existèrent entre deux traditions qu'on a souvent l'habitude d'opposer. Or, il faut noter que c'est grâce au financement par le réseau de Branford et Geddes que Mauss parvint à reprendre la publication de l'Année sociologique en France. De son côté, Branford ne se prive pas d'adresser quelques piques à ses collègues durkheimiens orthodoxes à l'Institut Français de Sociologie dans les années 20. Tout cela montre la force des liens qui unissent les deux pays en sociologie, contrairement à ce qu'on lit souvent.

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Un manuscrit inédit de Durkheim

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

Émile Durkheim and François Pizarro Noël

Résumé

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 mœurs. 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

Abstract

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

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.

Résumé

Cette revue de littérature présente sept principales publications (écrites par des chercheurs parmi les plus reconnus) consacrées à l'œuvre 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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Andrew Sanders

‘Happiness’, as we now commonly understand the term, is not something we should expect to meet in Shakespeare’s work. When he employs alternative words – such as ‘felicity, ‘merry’ or ‘blessed’ – he rarely seeks to convey what latter-day readers might assume to be the concept of ‘happiness’ that we accept as an agreeable state of mind. Shakespeare’s ‘happy’ seems to apply to circumstances rather than to a state of mind. His characters often appear to be luckier in their happiness rather than actual achievers of happiness. The idea that the ‘pursuit of happiness’ is an essential part of the definition of the human condition (as in the founding documents of the American Revolution) may well owe far more to John Milton’s use of the words ‘happy’ and ‘happiness’ and the common acceptance of ‘happiness’ as a socially and politically desirable condition.

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Air in Unexpected Places

Metabolism, Design, and the Making of an ‘African’ Aircrete

Michael Degani

Aircrete is a lightweight building material with a number of remarkable qualities, including high compression strength, buoyancy and thermal insulation. Perhaps most strikingly, its lack of sand aggregate makes it energy efficient compared to concrete. While aircrete is regularly sold by various construction companies, DIY enthusiasts and technicians around the world are cultivating more home-brew, open-source methods. This article follows James, an American ex-security contractor and mining engineer, as he attempts to convert his own embodied legacies of imperial extraction into a pro-social business venture by designing aircrete machines and mixes for urban Africa. His adventures in aircrete typify an energy future in which an array of intriguing experiments and technologies intersect with a broader entrepreneurial effort to capture Africa’s growing consumer markets.

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Ben Belek

Janet Carsten, Blood Work: Life and Laboratories in Penang, Durham, NC: Duke University, pp. 256, 2019.

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Capturing Crisis

Solar Power and Humanitarian Energy Markets in Africa

Jamie Cross

Goudebou refugee camp in northern Burkina Faso has emerged as a testing ground for international efforts to find market-based solutions to the delivery of basic energy services in humanitarian contexts. This article follows energy researchers, humanitarian practitioners and entrepreneurs as they work to capture a market for energy here by mapping consumer demand, generating evidence that can prove the willingness of refugees to pay and securing contracts for the supply of solar powered technologies. Their efforts reveal the moral and material logics of humanitarian interventions in the field of energy, and point to the continued significance of ‘crisis’ for the making of Africa’s energy politics, subjects and futures.

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Carceral Repair

Methane Extraction in Lake Kivu, Rwanda

Kristin Doughty

This article, based on ethnographic fieldwork in 2016–2019, examines methane extraction operations in Lake Kivu on the Rwanda/DRC border as a lens into understanding how energy futures in Africa are imagined and enacted within national projects of post-war reconstruction. In 2005, scientists suggested that the lake’s dissolved methane risked oversaturation within the century. This spurred state-backed projects to simultaneously prevent a natural disaster and harness the methane to meet Rwanda’s rising electrification needs. Two companies are currently building and operating methane-fuelled power plants. The article suggests that these energy projects, an integral part of the overall architecture of social repair in Rwanda, reproduce and generate forms of captivity and entrapment that are central to understanding the lived politics of ‘carceral repair’, a generation after genocide.

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Crafting Spaces of Value

Infrastructure, Technologies of Extraction and Contested Oil in Nigeria

Omolade Adunbi

This ethnographic investigation of the rise of the artisanal oil refining industry in the Niger Delta, Nigeria, shows how oil infrastructures have become contested between the state, multinational oil corporations and local youths in what I call a ‘new oil frontier’. I argue that artisanal refineries are indicative of the politics of crude oil governance and reveal complex, integrated and innovative forms of extractive practices by youth groups within many Niger Delta communities. Using the example of the Bodo community in Ogoniland, where local youths operate refineries constructed with local materials and technology, I show that such refineries represent an emergent form of energy capture that transforms the creeks of the Niger Delta into islands of carbon sale and challenges state and corporate power.