Annonce de parution – “French Sociology”

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“French Sociology”, Johan Heilbron, Cornell University Press, 2015

French Sociology offers a uniquely comprehensive view of the oldest and still one of the most vibrant national traditions in sociology. Johan Heilbron covers the development of sociology in France from its beginnings in the early nineteenth century through the discipline’s expansion in the late twentieth century, tracing the careers of figures from Auguste Comte to Pierre Bourdieu. Presenting fresh interpretations of how renowned thinkers such as Émile Durkheim and his collaborators defined the contours and content of the discipline and contributed to intellectual renewals in a wide range of other human sciences, Heilbron’s sophisticated book is both an innovative sociological study and a major reference work in the history of the social sciences.

Heilbron recounts the halting process by which sociology evolved from a new and improbable science into a legitimate academic discipline. Having entered the academic field at the end of the nineteenth century, sociology developed along two separate tracks: one in the Faculty of Letters, engendering an enduring dependence on philosophy and the humanities, the other in research institutes outside of the university, in which sociology evolved within and across more specialized research areas. Distinguishing different dynamics and various cycles of change, Heilbron portrays the ways in which individuals and groups maneuvered within this changing structure, seizing opportunities as they arose. French Sociology vividly depicts the promises and pitfalls of a discipline that up to this day remains one of the most interdisciplinary endeavors among the human sciences in France.


CHAPTER 1. The Establishment of Organized Social Science
The Politics of Social Science
Moral Science in Government Service
The Invasion of the Positive Sciences
Republicanism, Science, and the Research University
Disciplinary Frontiers
The Tripartite Division of French Social Science
The Literary Opposition

CHAPTER 2. An Improbable Science
Reconceptualizing Social Science
Comte and the Second Scientific Revolution
The British Evolution of Sociology
The Return of Sociology in France
Positivist Politics
Social Reform and Social Research

CHAPTER 3. Sociology and Other Disciplines in the Making
The Two-Front Struggle of the Professoriate
University Pioneers
An Emerging Subfield
From Psychology to Sociology
Organizing a Science of Synthesis
The Durkheimian Program
Antagonistic Competition

The Année sociologique
Defining a Specialty of Generalists

CHAPTER 4. The Metamorphoses of Durkheimian Scholarship
The Contours of Sociology
The End of a Collective Enterprise
Conflicting Interpretations
To Profess or to Inquire?
Recruitment Patterns
Social Images of Sociology

The Centre de documentation sociale
The Durkheimian Legacy

CHAPTER 5. Pioneers by Default?
Between Political Commitment and Policy Expertise
Sociology at the Sorbonne
Fieldwork as Vocation?
Research Groups
No Man’s Land
Reconfiguring the Social Sciences

CHAPTER 6. Cycles of Expansion and Field Transformations
The Structuralist Boom and After
Research Policy and the Research Sector
Teaching Sociology
Publishing Sociology
Rhetoric and Reality of Professionalization

CHAPTER 7. Intellectual Styles and the Dynamics of Research Groups
Beyond the Sociology of Work
Social Action and Public Sociology
Organizational Analysis and Policy Sociology
The Methodological Imperative
Reflexive Sociology


Epilogue: What Is French about Sociology in France?


Citer ce billet
Anthony Glinoer (2015, 9 septembre). Annonce de parution – “French Sociology” Le carnet de la liste socius. Consulté le 20 mai 2024, à l’adresse

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