This radical appraisal of Durkheim's method, first published in 1988, argues that fundamental errors have been made in interpreting Durkheim. Mike Gane argues that to understand The Rules it is necessary also to understand the context of the French society in which the book was written. He explores the cultural and philosophical debates which raged in France during the period when Durkheim prepared the book and establishes the real and unsuspected complexity of Durkheim's position: its formal complexity, its epistemological complexity, and its historical complexity.
'Durkheim's own reputation stands higher now than it ever has before and this latest expository work can only enhance that deserved status' - Times Higher Education Supplement
'Gane's analysis demonstrates clearly how, even in this "post modernist" age, Durkheim's Rules remains a challenging and enriching text' - Sociological Review
Part 1: 1. Durkheim, the Rules and the Problem 2. The Remarkable Argument of the Rules 3. The Problematic Consistency of Durkheim's 'Official Method' 4. Variations of Method in Durkheim's Main Sociological Analyses 5. Durkheim's Sociology Part 2: 6. Introduction: the Rules and the Sociologists 7. The Debate Over the Rules in Recent British Sociology 8. The Storm over the Rules in France during Durkheim's lifetime 9. French Discussions of the Rules After 1917 10. The Anglo-Saxon Reception of the Rules 11. Durkheim's Brief Reply to his Critics Part 3: 12. Complex Transitions 13. A Closer Look at the Emergence of the Rules 14. An Examination of the Argument of the Rules 15. Criticisms of Durkheim Examined