For Durkheim: Essays in Historical and Cultural Sociology, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

For Durkheim

Essays in Historical and Cultural Sociology, 1st Edition

By Edward A. Tiryakian


378 pages

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For Durkheim is a timely and original contribution to the debate about Durkheim at a time when his concerns on ethics, morality and civil religion have much relevance for our own troubled and divided society. It includes two new essays from Edward A. Tiryakian’s collection on the Danish Muhammad cartoons and September 11th, providing contemporary relevance to the debate and an analytical and interpretive introduction indicating the ongoing importance of Durkheim within sociology. This indispensable volume for all serious Durkheim scholars includes English translations of papers previously published in French for the first time, and will be of interest to sociologists, anthropologists, social historians and those interested in critical questions of modernity.


'Going back to the late, symbolic Durkheim has nourished the emergence of cultural sociology in the present day. For three decades, Edward Tiryakian has passionately and creatively cultivated this classical source, making the cultural Durkheim relevant to contemporary social issues and theoretical problems. He is one of the fathers of Durkheimian sociology today.' Jeffrey Alexander, Yale University, USA 'In For Durkheim Tiryakian has given us a vibrantly contemporary Durkheim. Ignoring Merton's famous warning to "forget the founders," Tiryakian has shown us a Durkheim who is at the cutting edge with respect to many of the issues that most concern sociologists today. This is a book to read and to teach.' Robert N. Bellah, University of California, USA 'For Durkheim is a delightful collection of attractively written essays that record their author's lifelong and very personal engagement with Durkheim's thought. They explore the context in which he lived and worked, some of the issues that preoccupied him and the illumination his ideas can bring to urgent contemporary concerns.' Steven Lukes, New York University, USA '… this volume displays impressive theoretical sophistication, currency, and depth of understanding, a testament to the author’s clarity of focus, despite the breadth and diversity of his learning and of the topics to which he has variously applied it… the book is a fitting monument to Edward Tiryakian’s life work, and more than a retrospective, it is a call for a renewed and a theoretically informed sociology rooted in a tradition of scholarship and engaged with questions of moral and political purpose. It testifies to the continued relevance of the legacy of classical theory to that end. It is essential reading for graduate students working in sociological or cultural theory or political sociology, and for anyone teaching Durkheim to undergraduate or graduate students.' Canadian Journal of Sociology

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: why For Durkheim?; Part 1 (Re)Discovering Durkheim: Emile Durkheim's matrix; On discovering Durkheim; Emile Durkheim and social change; Durkheim and Husserl: a comparison of the spirit of positivism and the spirit of phenomenology; Durkheim, Mathiez and the French revolution: the political context of a sociological classic; Situating Durkheim's sociology of work; Durkheim, solidarity and September 11. Part 2 Durkheim and Cultural Change: Contextualizing the emergence of modern sociology: the Durkheimian school in search of bygone society; Avant-garde art and avant-garde sociology: 'primitivism' and Durkheim ca. 1905-1913; From Durkheim to Managua: revolutions as religious revivals; Sexual anomie, social structure and societal change; No laughing matter: applying Durkheim to Danish cartoons. Part 3 Durkheim and Weber: A problem for the sociology of knowledge: the mutual unawareness of Emile Durkheim and Max Weber; Neither Marx nor Durkheim … perhaps Weber; Durkheim and Weber: first cousins?; Collective effervescence, social change and charisma: Durkheim, Weber and 1989; On the shoulders of Weber and Durkheim: East Asia and emergent modernity; Appendix; Index.

About the Author

Edward A Tiryakian is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Duke University, USA. He has published widely in the areas of theory, history of sociology/social thought, religion, globalization and national identity. He recently served as the Distinguished Leader of the Fulbright New Century Scholars Program, 2002-2003, as the past president of the American Society for the Study of Religion (1981-84) and of the International Association of French-Speaking Sociologists (1988-1992). He has twice been Chair of the Theory Section of the American Sociological Association and of the ASA History of Sociology section (2005-06).

About the Series

Rethinking Classical Sociology

Rethinking Classical Sociology
This series is designed to capture, reflect and promote the major changes that are occurring in the burgeoning field of classical sociology. The series publishes monographs, texts and reference volumes that critically engage with the established figures in classical sociology as well as encouraging examination of thinkers and texts from within the ever-widening canon of classical sociology. Engagement derives from theoretical and substantive advances within sociology and involves critical dialogue between contemporary and classical positions. The series reflects new interests and concerns including feminist perspectives, linguistic and cultural turns, the history of the discipline, the biographical and cultural milieux of texts, authors and interpreters, and the interfaces between the sociological imagination and other discourses including science, anthropology, history, theology and literature. The series offers fresh readings and insights that will ensure the continued relevance of the classical sociological imagination in contemporary work and maintain the highest standards of scholarship and enquiry in this developing area of research.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General