Durkheim and the Law

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9781137031815: Durkheim and the Law

The law was central to Durkheim's sociological theory and to his efforts to establish sociology as a distinctive discipline. This revised and updated second edition of Durkheim and the Law brings together key texts which demonstrate the development of Durkheim's thinking on the sociology of law, several of them newly translated here.

The editors, both world-renowned Durkheim scholars, provide a comprehensive analysis of the intellectual significance and distinctiveness of Durkheim's work on the subject. They show how his ideas evolved over time; how they contributed to the development of a distinctively Durkheimian vision of a science of society; and they provide a comprehensive assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of his theorizing about law, as well as its continuing relevance for contemporary sociology.

Enriched with a new introduction and useful learning features, this book remains a major reference for students of socio-legal theory.

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About the Author:

Steven Lukes is Professor of Sociology at New York University, USA. He studied at Oxford and has previously held posts at Oxford, Florence, Siena and London. He is an emeritus Fellow of the British Academy and an editor of the European Journal Of Sociology. His writing and teaching have ranged over political science, political and moral philosophy, sociology, anthropology and the philosophy of the social sciences. He is the author of Emile Durkheim: His Life and Work (1972) and, most recently, Moral Relativism (2005).
Andrew Scull is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego. He was educated at Balliol College Oxford, and at Princeton and has held faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and the University of California. He is the author or editor of more than twenty books, has held fellowships from (among others) the American Council of Learned Societies and the Guggenheim Foundation, and is past President of the Society for the Social History of Medicine.


"No social thinker has written more boldly about the law in its connections with solidarity, penality, morality, and individuality than Émile Durkheim. This superb anthology of his key statements on the topic mixes and melds revolutionary social theory, sweeping historical observations, and luminous civic philosophy. It is mandatory bedside reading for any and all scholars who wish to decipher the ubiquitous and fast changing role of legal institutions and categories in the contemporary world." - Loïc Wacquant, author of Punishing the Poor and Tracking the Penal State

"Law figured prominently in Emile Durkheim's work, as an object of sociological analysis, as an index of patterns in social change, as the focus of his great debate with Gabriel Tarde, as an instance of symbolic order and a key example of the attempt to regulate society and achieve the discipline necessary for moral order. Steven Lukes and Andrew Scull do a fine job of drawing together and clearly introducing the multiple, different dimensions of Durkheim's engagement with law, whether in relation to evolution, or morality, or freedom." - Craig Calhoun, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

"Durkheim and the Law is back! When it first appeared 30 years ago, this excellent collection instantly became essential reading on every 'sociology of law' syllabus. Now in a revised, expanded edition  - with additional works by Durkheim as well as a powerful new introduction by the Editors  - this indispensable volume is better than ever." - David Garland, New York University, USA

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