Durkheim's Ghosts is a fascinating presentation of the tradition of social theory influenced by Emile Durkheim's thinking on the social foundations of knowledge. These engaging and innovative essays by leading sociologist Charles Lemert bring together his writings on the contributions of French social theory past and present.
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'Charles Lemert's deft disentanglement of Durkheim's legacy in social theory crowns a career devoted to exploring the cultural logics of social things. Durkheim's Ghosts is a brilliant and beautiful book, a passionate reflection on the powers and limits of French social theory's contributions to the understanding of culture". Anthony Elliott, University of Kent and author of Critical Visions: New Directions in Social Theory
'The bodies of classical theory that outlive the conditions and times that produce them haunt us as scholarly ghosts. These hauntings can be either positive or negative, depending on how we handle them. Charles Lemert brilliantly explores the legacy of both the classical ghosts - Marx, Freud, Durkheim and Mauss - and a range of more proximate giants - Fanon, Foucault, Derrida and others - to provide a critical insight into French social theory. Durkheim's Ghosts is amongst other things a fascinating intellectual journey through twentieth century structuralism and its aftermath. The result is an analytical map of the tensions between the social and the cultural that have shaped the terrain of contemporary social thought. This is a journey not to be missed. Bryan S. Turner, Asia Research Institute, Singapore
Charles Lemert is Andrus Professor of Sociology at Wesleyan University, Connecticut. He is a leading sociologist and his many books include Muhammad Ali: Trickster in the Culture of Irony, French Sociology: Rupture and Renewal since 1968, Michel Foucault: Social Theory and Transgression, and Social Things: An Introduction to the Sociological Life. His book Social Theory is a best-selling text in the field.
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