Durkheim Today

Durkheim Today

Durkheim Today

Durkheim Today


There has been a growing interest in Durkheim, founding father of sociology, since the 1970s. This volume takes a look at the current stage of Durkheimian studies, pointing out paths scholars are now following as they examine the various themes of study that Durkheim opened up to the academic world. They clearly demonstrate the continuing importance of Durkheim's works and the benefits to be derived from re-reading them in the light of contemporary social developments.


What are scholars who write on Durkheim today saying about this founding father of sociology? This small book sets out to answer the question in a succinct way and at the same time to show the stage which Durkheimian studies have now reached. Its brevity bars it from being considered in any way an exhaustive or definitive study. Nevertheless, it does point its readers to the paths scholars are now following as they examine the various themes of study which Durkheim opened up to the academic world.

The book has another merit in so far as at the present time a large number of books and articles are appearing on Durkheim, some in obscure places. The non-professional reader may care to know why and how scholars select from the mass of material available what they consider the most important contributions to Durkheimian scholarship. Such a selection forms the basis of this book.

Growth in the interest in Durkheim began in the 1970s and continues to grow (see Chapter 2). Part of such blossoming has come with the creation in 1991 of the British Centre for Durkheimian Studies which was founded in Oxford under the aegis of the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology. Amongst other things it publishes its own books and an annual periodical.

Late in 2000, in conjunction with the Centre, Routledge published a four-volume collection of articles and chapters of books, nearly all of which had appeared since 1990, called in short, Durkheim. Critical Assessments.* Emerging from these volumes, too expensive for most individuals to buy, has come this book. It should be noted that two earlier sets of critical assessments had aleady appeared.

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