Suffering and Evil: The Durkheimian Legacy

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Berghahn Books, 2012 - Social Science - 195 pages
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."..an impressive collection that makes a strong contribution to sociological theory and Durkheimian scholarship. Its particular strength is how it makes available the robustness and enduring importance of Durkheim's rich conceptual lexicon...Selected chapters also offer substantial and theoretically complex contributions to more specialized areas of inquire...Theoretically sophisticates, yet relatively accessible, this volume is particularly appropriate for inclusion in advanced undergraduate theory courses or graduate level seminars." Canadian Journal of Sociology/Cahiers canadiens de sociologie

Until recently the subject of suffering and evil was neglected in the sociological world and was almost absent in Durkheimian studies as well. This book aims to fill the gap, with particular reference to the Durkheimian tradition, by exploring the different meanings that the concepts of evil and suffering have in Durkheim's works, together with the general role they play in his sociology. It also examines the meanings and roles of these concepts in relation to suffering and evil in the work of other authors within the group of the Annee sociologique up until the beginning of World War II. Finally, the Durkheimian legacy in its wider aspects is assessed, with particular reference to the importance of the Durkheimian categories in understanding and conceptualizing contemporary forms of evil and suffering.

W.S.F. Pickering was a founding member in 1991, and then General Secretary, of the British Centre for Durkheimian Studies in the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford University. Since the 1970s he has written, edited and helped translate a number of books on Durkheim and his disciples, including "Durkheim's Sociology of Religion: Themes and Theories" (1984).

Massimo Rosati is Associate Professor at University of Rome Tor Vergata, where he teaches Sociology. He has published articles on Durkheim and contemporary social theory. He is the editor of the new Italian edition of Durkheim's "The Elementary Forms of Religious Life" and his latest book is "Ritual and the Sacred: A Neo-Durkheimian Analysis of Politics, Religion and the Self" (2009)."

 

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Contents

Reflections on the Death of Emile Durkheim
11
I Suffering and Evil in Durkheim
29
Chapter 1 Le Suicide and Psychological Suffering
31
Chapter 2 Suffering and Evil in the Elementary Forms
48
Chapter 3 Some Concepts of Evil in Durkheims Thought
63
A Durkheimian Perspective
80
IIThe Durkheimian Legacy
101
The Negative Processes of Social Life and Their Resolution
103
Durkheim Bataille and the Prospect of a Sociology of Evil
118
The Durkheimian Legacy and Contemporary Debates
136
Critical Reflections Prompted by Durkheims Remarks on Suffering
148
Chapter 9 Looking Backwards and to the Future
162
Contributors
178
References
181
Index
190
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About the author (2012)

W. S. F. Pickering was a founding member in 1991, and then General Secretary, of the British Centre for Durkheimian Studies in the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford University. Since the 1970s he has written, edited and helped translate a number of books on Durkheim and his disciples, including Durkheim's Sociology of Religion: Themes and Theories (1984).

Massimo Rosati is Associate Professor at University of Rome Tor Vergata, where he teaches Sociology. He has published articles on Durkheim and contemporary social theory. He is the editor of the new Italian edition of Durkheim's The Elementary Forms of Religious Life and his latest book is Ritual and the Sacred: A Neo-Durkheimian Analysis of Politics, Religion and the Self (2009).

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