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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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Recovering Durkheim's 'Second Program of Research'

Roy Rappaport and Jeffrey C. Alexander

Massimo Rosati

Durkheim's 'second program of research' above all refers to his project as developed in Les formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse. This essay examines how it has in turn been developed and taken up nowadays in the work of Roy Rappaport and Jeffrey Alexander. Both of them are concerned with the centrality of ritual and the sacred as active, constitutive elements not just of religion but of all social life, not least modern social life. However, a key difference between them can be found in the issue of the internal dimension of ritual and of the individual's participation in public performance of this. Rappaport emphasizes some sort of general notion of acceptance, in an effort to open up things and get away from the particular epistemological as well as theological commitments of the idea of belief. Alexander still appears to work with the modernist epistemology and 'Protestant' theology of belief. His project of a new Durkheimian cultural sociology has nonetheless itself opened up all kinds of things, and is one of the most creative and dynamic research programs in sociology nowadays.

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Jean-Christophe Marcel

connaissance (Cazeneuve). Pour eux, comme pour Davy et Gurvitch, la production américaine est une sorte de boîte à outils épistémologique, dont il faut néanmoins circonscrire les limites pour en améliorer les performances. La tentative de rénovation de la