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The Political Durkheim
Sociology, Socialism, Legacies



  • Available for pre-order on February 24, 2023. Item will ship after March 17, 2023
ISBN 9780367894436
March 17, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
232 Pages

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Book Description

This book presents Durkheim as an important political sociologist, inspired by and advocating socialism. Through a series of studies, it argues that Durkheim’s normative vision, which can be called libertarian socialism, shaped his sociological critique and search for alternatives. With attention to the value of this political sociology as a means of understanding our contemporary world, the author asks us to look again at Durkheim. While Durkheim’s legacy has often emphasised the supposed conservative elements and stability advocated in his thought, we can point to a different legacy, one of a radical sociology. In dialogue with the decolonial critique, this volume also asks ‘was Durkheim white?’ and in doing so shows how, as a Jew, he experienced significant racialisation in his lifetime. A new reading and a vital image of a ‘political Durkheim’, The Political Durkheim will appeal to scholars and students with interests in Durkheim, social theory and political sociology.

Table of Contents

Introduction: In Defence of the Political Durkheim

Part 1: Socialism

1. Durkheim’s Alternative: Curing the Malaise

2. Individualism through Association: The Libertarian Socialism of Émile Durkheim and G.D.H. Cole

3. ‘An Army of Civil Servants’: Max Weber and Émile Durkheim on Socialism

Part 2: Politics

4. The COVID Malaise: The Failed Mission of Justice, Pseudo-Democracy and a Politics of the Future after the Pandemic

5. Social Solidarity, Penal Evolution and Probation (with Fergus McNeill)

6. ‘An Apotheosis of Well-Being’: Durkheim on Austerity and Double-Dip Recessions

Part 3: Legacies

7. A Salute to the Exegetical Giddens: Durkheim Scholar

8. Morality as Rebellion: Towards a Partial Reconciliation of Bauman and Durkheim

10. The Elementary Forms of Sociological Knowledge: Durkheim in British Sociology Textbooks

Postscript: Was Durkheim White? Anti-Semitism and the Dangers of Binary Racialised Readings of the Canon

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Author(s)

Biography

Matt Dawson is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Glasgow, UK, and the author of Social Theory for Alternative Societies and Late Modernity, Individualization and Socialism: An Associational Critique of Neoliberalism.