Rethinking the Social through Durkheim, Marx, Weber and Whitehead
184 pages
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Rethinking the Social through Durkheim, Marx, Weber and Whitehead


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184 pages


Halewood analyses concepts of the social developed by Durkheim, Marx and Weber, and presents a novel ‘philosophy of the social’.

Sociologists and social theorists use the term ‘social’ frequently. We talk of social relations, social media, social networks, social factors, and so on, as well as ‘the social’. But do we always know what we mean or what we are invoking when we deploy the term ‘social’?

The concept of the ‘social’ has often been treated as almost self-explanatory, inherited from the works of the instigators of sociology and social theory who, it is assumed, all meant the same thing by the term. ‘Rethinking the Social’ argues that this is not the case, and that there are major differences between their approaches. This the first book to systematically analyse the different concepts of the social developed by Durkheim, Marx and Weber. It examines how the concept of the social became unproblematic for twentieth-century writers and suggests that debates surrounding this concept remain very much alive. Building on A. N. Whitehead’s work, Halewood develops a novel ‘philosophy of the social’.

Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; 1. Rethinking the Social; 2. Durkheim Approaches the Social; 3. Durkheim’s Philosophy of the Social; 4. Marx on the Social and the Societal; 5. Weber’s “Sozial” Action; 6. The Early Death of the Problem of the Social; 7. Toward a Philosophy of the Social, Part I: Durkheim, Marx, Weber (and Simmel) Revisited; 8. Toward a Philosophy of the Social, Part II: Whitehead on Sociology, Societies and the Social; Notes; References; Index



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Date de parution 01 décembre 2014
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781783083701
Langue English

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Rethinking the Social through Durkheim, Marx, Weber and Whitehead
Key Issues in Modern Sociology
Anthem’sKey Issues in Modern Sociologyseries publishes scholarly texts by leading social theorists that give an accessible exposition of the major structural changes in modern societies. These volumes address an academic audience through their relevance and scholarly quality, and connect sociological thought to public issues. The series covers both substantive and theoretical topics, as well as addressing the works of major modern sociologists. The series emphasis is on modern developments in sociology with relevance to contemporary issues such as globalization, warfare, citizenship, human rights, environmental crises, demographic change, religion, postsecularism and civil conflict.
Series Editor Bryan S. Turner – City University of New York, USA, and Australian Catholic University, Australia
Editorial Board Thomas Cushman – Wellesley College, USA Rob Stones – University of Western Sydney, Australia Richard Swedberg – Cornell University, USA Stephen Turner – University of South Florida, USA Darin Weinberg – University of Cambridge, UK
Rethinking the Social through Durkheim, Marx, Weber and Whitehead
Michael Halewood
Anthem Press An imprint of Wimbledon Publishing Company
This edition first published in UK and USA 2014 by ANTHEM PRESS 75–76 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HA, UK or PO Box 9779, London SW19 7ZG, UK and 244 Madison Ave #116, New York, NY 10016, USA
Copyright © Michael Halewood 2014
The moral right of the author has been asserted.
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
British Library CataloguinginPublication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
Library of Congress CataloginginPublication Data Halewood, Michael. Rethinking the social through Durkheim, Marx, Weber and Whitehead / Michael Halewood. pages cm. – (Key issues in modern sociology) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 9781783083688 (hardcover : alk. paper) – ISBN 9781783083695 (papercover : alk. paper) 1. Social sciences–Philosophy. 2. Sociology–Philosophy. I. Title. H61.15.H343 2014 300.1–dc23 2014041897
ISBN13: 978 1 78308 368 8 (Hbk) ISBN10: 1 78308 368 9 (Hbk)
ISBN13: 978 1 78308 369 5 (Pbk) ISBN10: 1 78308 369 7 (Pbk)
Cover imagedeluxe, gutterycourtesy of the artist Sarah Roberts © 2014
This title is also available as an ebook.
Acknowledgements List of Abbreviations Chapter OneRethinking the Social Chapter TwoDurkheim Approaches the Social
Chapter ThreeDurkheim’s Philosophy of
the Social
Chapter FourMarx on the Social and the Societal
Chapter FiveWeber’s “Sozial” Action
Chapter SixThe Early Death of
the Problem of
the Social
Chapter SevenToward a Philosophy of the Social – Part One: Durkheim, Marx, Weber (and Simmel) Revisited
Chapter EightToward a Philosophy of the Social – Part Two: Whitehead on Sociology, Societies and the Social Notes References Index
vii ix
139 161 167 171
There are many people who have helped me in writing this book. Those who have shouldered the greatest burden are the generous individuals who gave much of their time and knowledge in responding to my repeated requests for help with the translation and meaning of a range of German terms, phrases and concepts. Among these are Juljan Krause and Felix Behling. However, it is Michael Guggenheim and Karin Harrasser who bore the brunt of my inabilities. I am very grateful to them both. Others have had to bear my incessant interest in the meaning of the social but it is Vanessa Meredith who has had to put up with the most and who continues to be my greatest support. The vast majority of material in this book is new. However, elements of Chapter Eight are published as “The Order of Nature and the Creation of Societies” in N. Gaskill and A. J. Nocek (eds) (2014),The Lure of WhiteheadMinneapolis, University of Minnesota Press. I am grateful to the publisher for allowing me to use this material in this present volume.
The following abbreviations have been used for the works of Durkheim, Marx and Weber. Full details are given in the bibliography.
Durkheim DL –Labour in SocietyThe Division of RSM –Sociological MethodThe Rules of S –Suicide EFRL –the Religious LifeThe Elementary Forms of DD –De la division du travail social Règles –Les règles de la methode sociologique LeS –Le suicide  –Les formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse
Marx The English and GermanCollected Worksand Engels are cited asof Marx CWMEandMEW, respectively. The corresponding volume number is then used. For example, (CWME3;MEW1).
Weber E&SW&G
Economy and Society Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft