The Radical Durkheim

Author Frank Pearce
Condition Very Good
Cover Type Hardback

This appraisal of Durkheim’s sociological theory shows how his arguments can be developed to extend our understanding of social and political change. Since a major concern of the book is to develop a more adequate picture of the parameters within which a feasible socialist society could operate, there is a continual reference to the manifest and latent socialist elements of Durkheim’s thought. The author produced this synthesis of ideas after examining the works of Marx, Weber and Durkheim and coming to the conclusion that while Marx was scathing about utopian socialism he was by no means immune to its dangers and this was particularly true of his image of communism and of its relationship to socialism. He reveals how Durkheim helps provide a critique of Marx’s concept of communism and forces socialists to be somewhat less sanguine about the presence and role of the state and law in socialist societies. Later it is shown that whilst there are significant discontinuities between capitalist and socialist societies that there are also continuities in relationship to their forms of order and their likely sources of disorder. The author implies that this could help socialists produce less moralistic critiques of capitalism and develop more realistic and realizeable political programmes.