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The National And The Transnational: Marcel Mauss

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Chapter Summary

This is the concluding chapter of the book which attempts to describe French social thought as a language. To qualifiy as a language a realm of discourse has to display a few characterisic elements. To begin with it must possess a minimal set of recognisable assumptions. My main aim in the book is to shed some light on the conceptual history of the social, by way of discussing examples drawn from a specific setting, namely France during the long nineteenth century. It tries to give a sense of the richness and variety of the language of the social. The second aim is to present, and take a stance within, the debate concerning the limitations of the concept of the social which took place in the last decades. The author's contention is that the language of the social, at least in some of its dialects, already meets precisely such desiderata.

Keywords:dialects; France



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