Solidarity and Schism: "The Problem of Disorder" in Durkheimian and Marxist Sociology

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This book, by a leading sociologist, examines the sociology of Durkheim, Marx, and some of their more distinguished followers. Lockwood shows that, underlying obvious and well-known differences, there are remarkably similar sets of assumptions about the structure of social action and specifically about how social order is created, maintained, and, under certain conditions, disrupted. These assumptions raise problems that have never been adequately addressed by either Durkheimians or Marxists. Lockwood's important study is a contribution toward identifying where and why new conceptual thinking is required.

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This book presents a critical comparison and evaluation of the assumptions underlying explanations of social order and conflict which are to be found in the work of Durkheim and Marx, and of their most important followers. Its major theme is that, although the two bodies of theory rest on fundamentally opposed ideas of social structure and social action, both have to draw on auxiliary hypotheses which are to a high degree complementary--the residual categories of the one theory proving to be those that are analytically central to the other. This is most evident when Durkheimian theory seeks to account for social disorder, and Marxist theory for its absence. This challenging argument is developed in detail, by reference to a wide range of empirical research, and leads to new ways of thinking about how societies alternate between the poles of solidarity and schism.

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David Lockwood, Professor of Sociology and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic), University of Essex

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