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Durkheim And The Reflexive Condition Of Modernity

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Chapter Summary

This essay deals with Durkheim's work approached from a vantage point of post-classical attitude. Durkheim's model of reflexivity opens onto another vantage point from which his work is approached in this essay, that of political modernity. Durkheim's concern with reflexivity emerges from his pre-occupation with the relation between the representative forms of civic sovereignty, its public nature, principles and ethos. The Durkheim approaches the issue of reflexivity on primarily epistemological grounds, especially if the problem is read from the vantage point of his later 1914 lectures, published under the title of Pragmatism and Sociology. Durkheim's analysis of political modernity is seen in terms of the institutionalisation of both the culture of reflexivity and the collective representation of rights. The essay draws out the reflexive nature of political modernity as its central and radicalisable dimension.

Keywords: civic sovereignty; collective representation; Durkheim; political modernity; reflexive culture; reflexivity



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