Contemporary articles citing Durkheim E (1915) Elementary Forms Rel

religious, sociological, durkheim's, action, his, state, mobilization, structures, empirical, arguments

Steinmetz, G. 2004. "Odious Comparisons: Incommensurability, the Case Study, and ``small N's'' in Sociology." Sociological Theory. 22:3 371-400. Link
Case studies and ``small-N comparisons'' have been attacked from two directions, positivist and incommensurabilist. At the same time, some authors have defended small-N comparisons as allowing qualitative researchers to attain a degree of scientificity, yet they also have rejected the case study as merely ``idiographic.'' Practitioners of the case study sometimes agree with these critics, disavowing all claims to scientificity. A related set of disagreements concerns the role and nature of social theory in sociology, which sometimes is described as useless and parasitic and other times as evolving in splendid isolation from empirical research. These three forms of sociological activity-comparative analysis, studies of individual cases, and social theory-are defended here from the standpoint of critical realism. In this article I first reconstruct, in very broad strokes, the dominant epistemological and ontological framework of postwar U.S. sociology. The next two sections discuss several positivist and incommensurabilist criticisms of comparison and case studies. The last two sections propose an understanding of comparison as operating along two dimensions, events and structures, and offer an illustration of the difference and relationship between the two.

Sawyer, RK. 2002. "Durkheim's Dilemma: Toward a Sociology of Emergence." Sociological Theory. 20:2 227-247. Link
The concept of emergence is a central thread uniting Durkheims theoretical and empirical work, yet this aspect of Durkheims work has been neglected. I reinterpret Durkheim in light of theories of emergence developed by contemporary philosophers of mind, and I show that Durkheim's writings prefigure many elements of these contemporary theories. Reading Durkheint as an emergentist helps to clarify several difficult and confusing aspects of his work, and reveals a range of unresolved issues. I identify five such issues, and I show how Durkheims writings on emergence suggest potential responses.

Goldberg, CA. 2001. "Welfare Recipients or Workers? Contesting the Workfare State in New York City." Sociological Theory. 19:2 187-218. Link
This paper addresses how New York City's workfare program has structural opportunities for collective action by welfare recipients. As workfare blurs the distinction between wage workers and welfare recipients, it calls into question accepted understandings of the rights and obligations of welfare recipients and fosters new claims on the state. The concept of ``cultural opportunity structures'' can help to explain the political mobilization of workfare participants if it is linked to a Durkheimian tradition of cultural analysis attentive to symbolic classification. The dramaturgic approach to culture exemplified in the work of Erving Goffman can usefully complement this structural approach if a narrow focus on frames and framing process is broadened to include interaction rituals and ceremonial profanation.

Stark, R. 1999. "Micro Foundations of Religion: a Revised Theory." Sociological Theory. 17:3 264-289. Link
In a major revision of my earlier theoretical work on religion, I attempt to identify and connect the basic micro elements and processes underlying religious expression. I show that all primary aspects of religion - belief; emotion, ritual, prayer, sacrifice, mysticism, and miracle - can be understood on the basis of exchange relations between humans and supernatural beings. Although I utilize a cognitive definition of religion, this new version of the theory is especially concerned with the emotional and expressive aspects of religion. Along the way I also clarify the difference between religion and magic and this sets the stage for explaining the conditions under which religion (but not magic) can require extended and exclusive exchange relations between humans and the gods, thus enabling some religions to sustain stable organizations based on a lay membership.

Gross, N. 1997. "Durkheim's Pragmatism Lectures: a Contextual Interpretation." Sociological Theory. 15:2 126-149. Link
This article attempts to understand Emile Durkheim's 1913-14 lectures on pragmatism and sociology by situating them in the socio-intellectual context of the time. An analysis of books and journal articles from the period reveals that the ideas of the Anglo-American pragmatic philosophers Charles Pierce, William James, John Dewey, and F.C.S. Schiller were very popular in pre-World War I France. The French term le pragmatisme, however, was used to refer not only to the thought of these philosophers, but also to the work of French thinkers, such as Henri Bergson and the Catholic Modernists Maurice Blondel and Edouard Le Roy, who wrote extensively about human action. Pragmatism, because of its associations with Bergsonian spiritualism and the theology of the Modernists, came to have religious connotations for many French intellectuals. Durkheim had a similar understanding of pragmatism and his critique of the pragmatists cannot be fully grasped unless these religious connotations are considered. The article concludes by discussing several implications of this interpretation for sociological theory.

Rawls, AW. 1997. "Durkheim and Pragmatism: an Old Twist on a Contemporary Debate." Sociological Theory. 15:1 5-29. Link
Durkheim's lectures on pragmatism, given in 1913-14, constitute both a significant critique of pragmatism and a clarification of Durkheim's own position. Unfortunately, these lectures have received little attention, most of it critical. When they have been taken seriously, the analysis tends to focus on their historical context and not on the details of Durkheim's actual argument. This is partly because the tendency to interpret Durkheim's theory of knowledge in idealist terms makes a nonsense of his criticisms of pragmatism. It is also due to a lack of serious appraisal of the lectures as series of arguments in their own right.

Cormack, P. 1996. "The Paradox of Durkheim's Manifesto: Reconsidering the Rules of Sociological Method." Theory and Society. 25:1 85-104. Link

Pfaff, S & G Yang. 2001. "Double-edged Rituals and the Symbolic Resources of Collective Action: Political Commemorations and the Mobilization of Protest in 1989." Theory and Society. 30:4 539-589. Link

Crossley, N. 2001. "The Phenomenological Habitus and Its Construction." Theory and Society. 30:1 81-120. Link

Shenhav, Yehouda. 2007. "Modernity and the Hybridization of Nationalism and Religion: Zionism and the Jews of the Middle East as a Heuristic Case." Theory and Society. 36:1 1-30. Link
This article looks at nationalism and religion, analyzing the sociological mechanisms by which their intersection is simultaneously produced and obscured, I propose that the construction of modem nationalism follows two contradictory principles that operate simultaneously: hybridization and purification. Hybridization refers to the mixing of ``religious'' and ``secular'' practices; purification refers to the separation between ``religion'' and ``nationalism'' as two distinct ontological zones. I test these arguments empirically using the case of Zionist nationalism. As a movement that was born in Europe but traveled to the Middle East, Zionism exhibits traits of both of these seemingly contradictory principles, of hybridization and purification, and pushes them to their limits. The article concludes by pointing to an epistemological asymmetry in the literature by which the fusion of nationalism and religion tends to be underplayed in studies of the West and overplayed in studies of the East/global South.

Tugal, Cihan. 2009. "Transforming Everyday Life: Islamism and Social Movement Theory." Theory and Society. 38:5 423-458. Link
The Islamist movement in Turkey bases its mobilization strategy on transforming everyday practices. Public challenges against the state do not form a central part of its repertoire. New Social Movement theory provides some tools for analyzing such an unconventional strategic choice. However, as Islamist mobilization also seeks to reshape the state in the long run, New Social Movement theory (with its focus on culture and society and its relative neglect of the state) needs to be complemented by more institutional analyses. A hegemonic account of mobilization, which incorporates tools from theories of everyday life and identity-formation, as well as from state-centered approaches, is offered as a way to grasp the complexity of Islamism.

Reed, Isaac & Julia Adams. 2011. "Culture in the Transitions to Modernity: Seven Pillars of a New Research Agenda." Theory and Society. 40:3 247-272. Link
How did cultural dynamics help bring about the societies we now recognize as modern? This article constructs seven distinct models for how structures of signification and social meaning participated in the transitions to modernity in the West and, in some of the models, across the globe. Our models address: (1) the spread, via imitation, of modern institutions around the world (memetic replication); (2) the construal, by socio-cultural forces and by state organizations, of the modern citizen-subject (social subjectification); (3) the continual search for new meanings to replace traditional religious meaning-systems (compensatory reenchantment); (4) repeated attempts, in modern revolutions, to remake society completely, according to a utopian vision (ideological totalization); (5) the cultural origins and social consequences of scientific and humanistic worldviews (epistemic rift); (6) the gendered politics of state formation (patriarchal supercession); (7) the invention and production of race in the colonial encounter (racial recognition). We explicate the models in reverse chronological order, because in our synthesis, we argue that the original modern break results from a dynamic combination of racial recognition, patriarchal supercession, and epistemic rift; these changes set the stage for the four other processes we theorize. In addition to our synthesis, we also consider, from a more neutral perspective, the kinds of causal arguments upon which these models tend to rely, and thus explicate the analytical undergirding for the application of any of these models to empirical research on transitions to modernity. Throughout the article, we consider how these models might, and might not, mesh with other families of explanation, such as the politico-economic.