The Année Sociologique: Writing Journal Reviews and Training Sociologists in Fin-de-siècle France

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Abstract Summary

This paper focuses on a specific aspect of the efforts of Durkheim and his colleagues to institutionalize sociology as a scientific research discipline in France in the late nineteenth century: the graduate training of the emerging sociologists. This training posed several challenges at its inception, such as the lack of a formal program of education and of dedicated faculty or facilities. One way that Durkheim and his associates worked around their relative lack of resources was through the foundation of the Année sociologique. This journal was a discipline building enterprise: it was a collective undertaking, it discussed a wide variety of material, and it organized the intellectual division of labor in a number of subfields, effectively defining the discipline of sociology by its choices of authors and books for review. Durkheim, as the hub of the enterprise, and Mauss, as his closest collaborator and “alter ego,” reviewed all copy, suggested revisions and insisted in examining everything in the smallest detail. This extensive work of editing formed the style of professional review writing of his collaborators. Durkheim encouraged and directed the research work of his younger teammates, providing them with guidance in creating original articles in the field of sociology, offering models of scientific research in the field, and helping them obtain academic appointments. I examine the practices of training in writing, their transfer across generations, and their significance to the success of the group.

Abstract ID :
Submission Type
Individual Paper
Abstract Topic
Human and Social Sciences
Temporal Keywords
History of sociology; writing practices; academic training; Durkheim; research discipline; academic journals

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