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The Cambridge Companion to Durkheim

by Philip Smith Jeffrey C. Alexander

Long recognised as a foundational figure in the development of social scientific thought, Emile Durkheim's work has been the subject of intense debate over the years. This authoritative and comprehensive collection of essays re-examines the impact of Durkheim's thought, considering the historical contexts of his work as well as evaluating his ideas in relation to current issues and controversies. Eminent authorities in the field have contributed to this up-to-date overview, giving the reader - both students and academics - a chance to engage directly with leading figures in the field about contemporary trends, ideas and dilemmas. This volume reflects the cross-disciplinary application of Durkheim's theories and will interest scholars of anthropology, political science, cultural studies and philosophy, as well as sociology. This is a landmark volume that redefines the relevance of Durkheim to the human sciences in the twenty-first century.

Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity

by Neil J. Smelser Jeffrey C. Alexander Ron Eyerman Bernard Giesen Piotr Sztompka

In this collaboratively authored work, five distinguished sociologists develop an ambitious theoretical model of "cultural trauma"--and on this basis build a new understanding of how social groups interact with emotion to create new and binding understandings of social responsibility. Looking at the "meaning making process" as an open-ended social dialogue in which strikingly different social narratives vie for influence, they outline a strongly constructivist approach to trauma and apply this theoretical model in a series of extensive case studies, including the Nazi Holocaust, slavery in the United States, and September 11, 2001.

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