Contemporary articles citing Durkheim E (1984) Division Labor Soc
action, society, empirical, well, durkheim's, suggests, order, historical, his, processes
- Goldberg, Chad. 2011. "The Jews, the Revolution, and the Old Regime in French Anti-semitism and Durkheim's Sociology*." Sociological Theory. 29:4 248-271.
- The relationship between European sociology and European anti-Semitism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is investigated through a case study of one sociologist, Emile Durkheim, in a single country, France. Reactionary and radical forms of anti-Semitism are distinguished and contrasted to Durkheim's sociological perspective. Durkheim's remarks about the Jews directly addressed anti-Semitic claims about them, their role in French society, and their relationship to modernity. At the same time, Durkheim was engaged in a reinterpretation of the French Revolution and its legacies that indirectly challenged other tenets of French anti-Semitism. In sum, Durkheim's work contains direct and indirect responses to reactionary and radical forms of anti-Semitism, and together these responses form a coherent alternative vision of the relationship between modernity and the Jews.
- Tavory, Iddo. 2011. "The Question of Moral Action: a Formalist Position*." Sociological Theory. 29:4 272-293.
- This article develops a research position that allows cultural sociologists to compare morality across sociohistorical cases. In order to do so, the article suggests focusing analytic attention on actions that fulfill the following criteria: (a) actions that define the actor as a certain kind of socially recognized person, both within and across fields; (b) actions that actors experienceor that they expect others to perceiveas defining the actor both intersituationally and to a greater extent than other available definitions of self; and (c) actions to which actors either have themselves, or expect others to have, a predictable emotional reaction. Such a position avoids both a realist moral sociology and descriptive-relativism, and provides sociologists with criteria for comparing moral action in different cases while staying attuned to social and historical specificity.
- Beckert, Jens. 2010. "Institutional Isomorphism Revisited: Convergence and Divergence in Institutional Change." Sociological Theory. 28:2 150-166.
- Under the influence of groundbreaking work by John Meyer and Brian Bowen, as well as Paul DiMaggio and Walter Powell, over the last 30 years research in the new sociological institutionalism has focused on processes of isomorphism. I argue that this is a one-sided focus that leaves out many insights from other institutional and macrosociological approaches and does not do justice to actual social change because it overlooks the role played by divergent institutional development. While the suggestion of divergent trends is not new, there have been Jew attempts to integrate divergence into the theoretical premises of the new sociological institutionalism. Based on the typology proposed by DiMaggio and Powell, I show that the mechanisms identified by them as sources of isomorphic change can support processes of divergent change as well. The theoretical challenge is to identify conditions under which these mechanisms push institutional change toward homogenization or divergence.
- Adkins, Daniel & Stephen Vaisey. 2009. "Toward a Unified Stratification Theory: Structure, Genome, and Status Across Human Societies." Sociological Theory. 27:2 99-121.
- While social scientists and geneticists have a shared interest in the personal characteristics instrumental to status attainment, little has been done to integrate these disparate perspectives. This is unfortunate, as the perspectives offer complementary insights, which, if properly combined, stand to substantially improve understanding of the stratification process. This article synthesizes research from the social sciences and genetics to develop a multistage theory of how social structure moderates the influence of the genome on status outcomes. Its thesis is that the strength of the genome's influence on status is primarily moderated by two properties of social structure-levels of resource inequality and social mobility. Thus, it is theorized that under conditions of low inequality and high social mobility, the influence of the genome on status will be high relative to conditions of high inequality and low social mobility. The essential logic is (1) as inequality increases, the characteristics and abilities intrinsically useful in status attainment are increasingly influenced by individuals' social backgrounds and decreasingly determined by their genomes; and (2) as social closure and inequality increase, the utility of these characteristics and abilities to status attainment is diminished. In sum, a model of status attainment is developed proposing that while both genome and social background influence the status attainment process, the relative importance of these factors is determined by the surrounding structure of the society.
- Goldberg, Chad. 2008. "Introduction to Emile Durkheim's ``anti-semitism and Social Crisis''." Sociological Theory. 26:4 299-323.
- Emile Durkheim's ``Antisemitisme et crise sociale,'' written in 1899 during the Dreyfus Affair in France, is introduced. The introduction summarizes the principal contributions that ``Antisemitisme et crise sociale'' makes to the sociology of anti-Semitism, relates those contributions to Durkheim's broader theoretical assumptions and concerns, situates his analysis of anti-Semitism in its social and historical context, contrasts it to other analyses of anti-Semitism (Marxist and Zionist) that were prominent in Durkheim's time, indicates some of the revisions and additions that a fuller and more complete Durkheimian theory of anti-Semitism would entail, and highlights the significance of Durkheim's ideas for the contemporary study of ethnic and racial antagonism. While noting the limitations of Durkheim's analysis, the introduction concludes that ``Antisemitisme et crise sociale'' has sadly regained its relevance in the light of a revival of anti-Semitism at the turn of the millennium.
- Doane, R. 2006. "Digital Desire in the Daydream Machine." Sociological Theory. 24:2 150-169.
- This article analyzes the sociality of illegal file sharing as one domain of teletechnology, using poststructural theory to conceptualize the file-sharing setting. It reveals the assumptions about file sharing in popular media, and demonstrates how the persistence of illegal file sharing across racial, economic, and status lines might be attributed to psychological and neurophysiological causes. To conclude, I consider the implications of poststructuralism for extension and synthesis in future social theory.
- Mirchandani, R. 2005. "Postmodernism and Sociology: From the Epistemological to the Empirical." Sociological Theory. 23:1 86-115.
- This article investigates the place of postmodernism in sociology today by making a distinction between its epistemological and empirical forms. During the 1980s and early 1990s, sociologists exposited, appropriated, and normalized an epistemological postmodernism that thematizes the tentative, reflective, and possibly shifting nature of knowledge. More recently, however, sociologists have recognized the potential of a postmodern theory that turns its attention to empirical concerns. Empirical postmodernists challenge classical modern concepts to develop research programs based on new concepts like time-space reorganization, risk society, consumer capitalism, and postmodern ethics. But they do so with an appreciation for the uncertainty of the social world, ourselves, our concepts, and our commitment to our concepts that results from the encounter with postmodern epistemology. Ultimately, this article suggests that understanding postmodernism as a combination of these two moments can lead to a sociology whose epistemological modesty and empirical sensitivity encourage a deeper and broader approach to the contemporary social world.
- Marshall, DA. 2002. "Behavior, Belonging, and Belief: a Theory of Ritual Practice." Sociological Theory. 20:3 360-380.
- A new model of ritual based on Durkheims ( 1995) theory is developed. It is argued that ritual practices generate belief and belonging in participants by activating multiple social-psychological mechanisms that interactively create the characteristic outcomes of ritual. Specifically, the distinctive elements of ritual practice are shown to induce altered subjective states and effortful and/or anomalous behaviors, which are subsequently misattributed in such a way that belief and belonging are created or maintained around the focus of ritual attention. These processes are traced in detail, and the resulting model is shown to be empirically credible, comprehensive, and theoretically fertile.
- Sawyer, RK. 2002. "Durkheim's Dilemma: Toward a Sociology of Emergence." Sociological Theory. 20:2 227-247.
- 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.
- Summers-Effler, E. 2002. "The Micro Potential for Social Change: Emotion, Consciousness, and Social Movement Formation." Sociological Theory. 20:1 41-60.
- Can one explain both the resilience of the status quo and the possibility for resistance from a subordinate position? This paper aims to resolve these seemingly incompatible perspectives. By extending Randall Collins's interaction ritual theory, and synthesizing it with Norbert Wiley's model of the self this paper suggests how the emotional dynamics between people and within the self can explain social inertia as well as the possibility for resistance and change. Diverging from literature on the sociology of emotions that has been concerned with individual emotional processes, this paper considers the collective level in order to explore how movement action is motivated. The emotional dynamics of subordinate positioning that limit women's options in face-to-face interactions are examined, as are the social processes of developing feminist consciousness and a willingness to participate in resistance work. Pointing toward empirical applications, I conclude by suggesting conditions where resistance is likely.
- Goldberg, CA. 2001. "Welfare Recipients or Workers? Contesting the Workfare State in New York City." Sociological Theory. 19:2 187-218.
- 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.
- Janssen, J & T Verheggen. 1997. "The Double Center of Gravity in Durkheim's Symbol Theory: Bringing the Symbolism of the Body Back in." Sociological Theory. 15:3 294-306.
- By studying Durkheim through a Schopenhauerian lens, the one-sidedly cognitivist and functionalist reception of his social theory can be balanced. Durkheim explicitly rejected such monistic interpretations. His dialectical approach was always aimed at an essentially dualistic perception of man and society, wherein the lower pole, the individual, is central. In Durkheim's symbol theory, this position lends to two kinds of symbols: those that are bound to the human body, here called ``this and that'' symbols, and those people call choose freely here called ``this for that'' symbols. This twofold symbol theory can already be found in medieval philosophy (e.g. Dante Alighieri) as well as in the work of Paul Ricoeur. For Durkheim the human person is the symbol par excellence. By implication the rituals in which the person is (ra)constructed that is the rites of passage, should be central. The interpretation hera opens up new perspectives for a more psychological interpretation of Durkheim's sociology.
- Emirbayer, M. 1996. "Useful Durkheim." Sociological Theory. 14:2 109-130.
- From the mid-1960s through much of the 1980s, Durkheim's contributions to historical-comparative sociology were decidedly marginalized; the title of one of Charles Tilly's essays, ``Useless Durkheim,'' conveys this prevailing sensibility with perfect clarity. Here, ky contrast, I draw upon writings from Durkheim's later ``religious'' period to show how Durkheim has special relevance today for debates in the historical-comparative field. I examine how his substantive writings shed light on current discussions regarding civil society; how his analytical insights help to show how action within civil society as well as other historical contexts is channelled by cultural, social-structural, and social-psychological configurations (plus transformative human agency); and how his ontological commitment to a ``relational social realisin'' contributes to ongoing attempts to rethink the foundations of historical-comparative investigation.
- Beckert, J. 1996. "What Is Sociological About Economic Sociology? Uncertainty and the Embeddedness of Economic Action." Theory and Society. 25:6 803-840.
- Goldberg, CA. 2003. "Haunted by the Specter of Communism: Collective Identity and Resource Mobilization in the Demise of the Workers Alliance of America." Theory and Society. 32:5-6 725-773.
- This article seeks to integrate identity-oriented and strategic models of collective action better by drawing on Pierre Bourdieu's theory of classification struggles. On the one hand, the article extends culture to the realm of interest by highlighting the role collective identity plays in one of the key processes that strategic models of collective action foreground: the mobilization of resources. The article extends culture to the realm of interest in another way as well: by challenging the notion that labor movements are fundamentally different from or antithetical to the identity-oriented new social movements. On the other hand, the article also extends the idea of interest to culture. Rather than viewing collective identity as something formed prior to political struggle and according to a different logic, I show that collective identity is constructed in and through struggles over classificatory schemes. These include struggles between movements and their opponents as well as struggles within movements. The article provides empirical evidence for these theoretical claims with a study of the demise of the Workers Alliance of America, a powerful, nation-wide movement of the unemployed formed in the United States in 1935 and dissolved in 1941.
- Berman, Elizabeth. 2006. "Before the Professional Project: Success and Failure at Creating an Organizational Representative for English Doctors." Theory and Society. 35:2 157-191.
- Theories of the professions do not sufficiently explain how individuals with different and often ill-defined interests can organize themselves into a group coherent enough to undertake a ``professional project.'' I suggest that concepts from institutional and organizational theory can help fill this gap and apply such concepts to one of the first professional projects, that of English doctors. In the early nineteenth century, two groups sought to become the organizational representative of the incipient profession. The first rapidly organized a sizeable fraction of practitioners and achieved some legislative success, but could not transform its early accomplishments into a position as the doctors' representative. The second had only moderate impact in its early years and was dismissed as politically irrelevant, but eventually united the profession and continues to this day as the British Medical Association. The professions literature, most of which is pitched at a broader level of analysis, does not provide theoretical tools to explain these divergent outcomes. I argue that they can be accounted for by analyzing English medicine as an institutional field. The groups' different structural locations within the field affected their trajectories, and a novel organizational model borrowed from an adjacent field helped the latter group keep doctors mobilized and achieve legitimacy. As a result, an unlikely-looking group of outsiders with limited resources was eventually able to lead a successful professional project, while an initially promising group fell by the wayside.
- Abend, Gabriel. 2008. "Two Main Problems in the Sociology of Morality." Theory and Society. 37:2 87-125.
- Sociologists often ask why particular groups of people have the moral views that they do. I argue that sociology's empirical research on morality relies, implicitly or explicitly, on unsophisticated and even obsolete ethical theories, and thus is based on inadequate conceptions of the ontology, epistemology, and semantics of morality. In this article I address the two main problems in the sociology of morality: (1) the problem of moral truth, and (2) the problem of value freedom. I identify two ideal-typical approaches. While the Weberian paradigm rejects the concept of moral truth, the Durkheimian paradigm accepts it. By contrast, I argue that sociology should be metaphysically agnostic, yet in practice it should proceed as though there were no moral truths. The Weberians claim that the sociology of morality can and should be value free; the Durkheimians claim that it cannot and it should not. My argument is that, while it is true that factual statements presuppose value judgments, it does not follow that sociologists are moral philosophers in disguise. Finally, I contend that in order for sociology to improve its understanding of morality, better conceptual, epistemological, and methodological foundations are needed.
- Pfaff, Steven. 2013. "The True Citizens of the City of God: the Cult of Saints, the Catholic Social Order, and the Urban Reformation in Germany." Theory and Society. 42:2 189-218.
- Historical scholarship suggests that a robust cult of the saints may have helped some European regions to resist inroads by Protestantism. Based on a neo-Durkheimian theory of rituals and social order, I propose that locally based cults of the saints that included public veneration lowered the odds that Protestantism would displace Catholicism in sixteenth-century German cities. To evaluate this proposition, I first turn to historical and theoretical reflection on the role of the cult of the saints in late medieval history. I then test the hypothesis with a data set of sixteenth-century German cities. Statistical analysis provides additional support for the ritual and social order thesis because even when several important variables identified by materialist accounts of the Reformation in the social scientific literature the presence of shrines as an indicator for the cult of the saints remains large and significant. Although large-scale social change is usually assumed to have politico-economic sources, this analysis suggests that cultural factors may be of equal or greater importance.