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Eduardo Cintra Torres

This article aims to bring out Durkheim's development of a pioneering sociology of the crowd, overlapping with yet going beyond psychological theories of the time. It begins by exploring the terminology used by Durkheim, colleagues and contemporaries in referring to crowds/gatherings/assemblies, and next asks about the social, political and intellectual context in which 'the crowd' became a key issue, as in the Dreyfus Affair and among writers such as Tarde. It then focuses on the issue's discussion in Durkheim's new journal, the Année sociologique, as well as in his own major works, but above all in Les Formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse, which offers a seminal, if concealed, sociology of the crowd.

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The Voice of History within Sociology

Robert Nisbet on Structure, Change, and Autonomy

Daniel Gordon

The conservative sociologist Robert Nisbet developed a theory that history is needed to supplement sociology. According to Nisbet, the chiefagents of historical change are the state and war. Sociologists tend to exaggerate the importance of internal or"endogenous" factors when explaining change. The article highlights the relationships between key topics— such as conservatism, medievalism, community, universities, the state, and war—in Nisbet's thought.

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Sociology in the Garden

Beyond the Liberal Grammar of Contemporary Sociology

Nissim Mizrachi

In “For Public Sociology,” the article based on his presidential address to the American Sociological Association, Michael Burawoy (2005) describes two interrelated trends in contemporary American sociology. First, he notes, sociology and the

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The Socio-analytical Approach

Differences in International Scientific Discourses

Rolf-Dieter Hepp

's sociological constructions, but these remain unnoticed. In this way, the analysis of form within which Bourdieu constructs the sociological objects is transformed into a presentation of facts and findings centered on content-related statements so that it is

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Robert Leroux

thesis, À quoi sert la notion de structure?, published in 1968, Boudon criticizes structural functionalism, but he also make an apology for Le Suicide . ‘If there is a revolution in modern sociology, it must undoubtedly be explained, not by structural

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Teaching globalisation in the social sciences

The effectiveness of a refugee simulation

Stacy Keogh George

The best teaching and learning practices in the field of sociology incorporate cross-cultural analysis that stretches across the globe. For example, the American Sociological Association recommends the following for a Sociology curriculum

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Arpad Szakolczai

Since its birth, but especially since its academic institutionalization, sociology has been plagued by a series of dualisms and dichotomies that seriously diminish the relevance of much of sociological work. To start with, there is the opposition of theoretical and empirical soci- ology; an opposition that should have been stillborn, as it is com- monplace that theoretical work without empirical evidence is arid, while empirical research without theory is spiritless and boring, but continues to survive and even thrive. There is also the division between substantive and methodological issues, creating the impres- sion of two separate realms and the illusion of a ‘free choice’ of method. One can continue with the contrast between methodological individualism and collectivism that in our days culminates in the var- ious debates around rational choice theory, but which is just the old debate between (neo-classical) economics and classical (Durk- heimian) social theory, in new clothes. Still further, there is the dilemma of dynamic versus static approaches, which could be for- mulated in the language of historical versus structural, or of genetic versus genetic. There is furthermore the dichotomy dominating so much of contemporary sociology, between agency and structure, which is just another way of posing the contrast between action and system, dominating the structural-functionalism of the 1950s and 1960s, or the even older opposition between object and subject and their dialectic, central for German idealist philosophy. At an even more general level, there is the question of the link between reality and thought, the extent to which thought and discourses can properly reproduce reality, or, on the contrary, the claims about the autonomy of discourse, or the independence of the text, a theme particular cher- ished by various postmodern approaches.

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Nicos Mouzelis's Sociological Theory

What went Wrong? Diagnoses and Remedies

Charles Crothers

In Sociological Theory: What went Wrong?: Diagnoses and Remedies (London: Routledge, 1995), Mouzelis provides a stunning and largely successful attempt to establish (or rather re-establish) sociological theory as a speciality within the social sciences which is progressively developing solutions within its own set agenda of concerns, and he then reviews a range of theoretical issues embedded within the work of a wide range of contemporary theorists in order to begin to build up this approach. Whereas many sociologists have rather ineffectively mourned sociology’s slipping from popularity in the recent period, Mouzelis not only provides an effective diagnosis of this situation but also offers a serious prescription to begin to cure the ills. To carry off his feat of derring-do Mouzelis has to descend into the very jaws of hell (post-structuralism) in order to snatch conceptual points which can then be used as levers to return sociology to its historical mission and to regain its formerly successful trajectory – which involves working against the very sources of the material he uses to rescue sociology!

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Irène Eulriet

This article is concerned with Durkheimian sociology’s problematization of war. Such concern is rooted in an appraisal of contemporary social scientific approaches to war and the military, particularly in the recognition that sociology has largely left these issues unexplored. I first attempt to situate the Durkheimian legacy in the current social scientific landscape of war and military studies, especially with regard to research conducted in France and the United States. I then argue, on the basis of Durkheim’s late writings, that he was not altogether oblivious to questions pertaining to the military and war; and that the way in which he addressed these issues was not just, as is often claimed, in a jingoistic mode. This article instead points towards the original analyses that Durkheim provided on the basis of concepts he had developed as early as in the Division of Labour and the centrality of the notion of ‘solidarity’ in his approach.

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Sociology, Primitivism and Museums

The Museology of George Henri Rivière, Follower of Marcel Mauss

Raymond de la Rocha Mille

The Musée de l'Homme closed its ethnological collections to the public during April 2003, after years of failing to receive appropriate finances, which brought about the run-down state of its premises, a lack of qualified staff and a distressing intellectual and moral atmosphere (Heritage-Augé 1991). With its library in the process of dispersion and its galleries emptied and silent, it is difficult to understand the fascination that the museum has had on vast sections of the population and the convergence of artistic, philosophical and political expectations of its creators in the 1930s (see Karsenti 1997). This article explores the influence of the Durkheimian school of sociology in the shaping of the so-called 'myth of primitivism' (Rubin 1984; Hiller 1991). It also addresses the meaning and significance given to objects and to collections in the avant-garde circles close to the Musée de l'Homme and notably amongst the immediate friends and collaborators of the French museologist, Georges Henri Rivi´re. It was an ideology that could be characterized as an object-based and philosophically inspired anthropology shaped by the unique convergence of multiple and often conflicting politico- and socio-cultural streams existing in the France of the Third Republic. This article also focuses on the epistemological con-sequences of a museology of 'presence' in the context of a growing heterogeneous society and of an aesthetic of collage 'that valued the fragmented, curious collections, unexpected juxtapositions, that works to provoke the manifestation of extraordinary realities drawn from the domains of the erotic, the exotic and the unconscious' (Clifford 1994:118).