Brock University

Heterodox Solidarities: New Directions in Radical Durkheimianism

The work of Émile Durkheim is a rich and vital resource for theorizing solidarity sociologically. Readings that build upon the more creative and radical implications of Durkheimian social theory open up especially interesting avenues for exploring diverse permutations, sites, and sources of solidarity across our social landscapes. This session invites radical Durkheimian-influenced analyses of solidarities that go off the beaten path, from underground cultural spaces and effervescent nocturnal scenes, to subterranean currents, revolutionary formations in apparently tranquil communities, or even global, mediated forms of solidaristic engagement. Contemporary case studies that build upon the radical tradition within Durkheimian social theory, from Bataille and the Collège de Sociologie, to the writings of Gane, Pearce, Stedman-Jones, and Tiryakian are encouraged. Theoretical papers that develop dialogical exchanges between radical Durkheimianism and other social theory traditions (e.g. critical, cultural, interpretive, feminist) are very welcome.

Session Organizer: Tara Milbrandt, University of Alberta, Augustana Faculty,


Collective Consciousness Rising: The Women’s Liberation Movement and Heterodox Solidarity

Ronjon Paul Datta, The University of Windsor ,

The Women’s Liberation Movement in North America offers radical Durkheimian sociology an opportunity to theorise the conditions under which heterodox collective political subjects and social forces emerge to problematise and transform people’s normative frameworks and conditions of existence.  Crucial here is the Third National Conference on the Status of Women, 1966, Washington D. C. at which NOW (the National Organization for Women) was formed and from which spread “Consciousness Raising” as collective discursive tactic. This paper sketches a five-dimensional model (Connective Dialectical Theory - CDT) informed by the main analytical axes of Durkheimian sociology, to navigate the emergence of a heterodox solidarity in the Women’s Liberation Movement. The provisional analysis offers means for generating strategic knowledge about the constitution of a heterodox solidarity with enduring power on a now global conscience collective. The research aims to contribute to recent work on Durkheim and the political, theories of power, mobilities studies, and aleatory materialist axiology.


Quel(s) rôle(s) pour l'État? Étude sur la double logique scientifique et mythologique de l'État durkheimien

Julien Laberge, UQAM,

L'État occupe un rôle majeur au sein de la pensée sociologique durkheimienne; il est l'organe caractéristique des sociétés à solidarité organique.Ce que je me propose de discuter avec vous est de la double logique de cet État durkheimien. À la fois lieu de réflexion, mais aussi, lieu de moralité, cette double fonction met en scène des logiques différentes, mais aussi des acteurs différents. Si la fonction réflexive de l'État a été bien étudiée par Durkheim, il semble que le volet moral, la fonction de promotion de la morale, puisse faire encore l'objet de développements. C'est ce que je propose de réaliser lors de cette présentation.


Majesty, commonalty, contradiction: working through political ambiguity with Durkheim

William Ramp, The University of Lethbridge,

As many commentators have noted, Durkheimian sociology is marked by ambiguity and duality. Durkheim named these qualities explicitly in identifying certain topics (the labile duality of the sacred and the ‘dualism’ of the human person), but in other instances, they haunt his work, contrasting with and subverting the definiteness of its semantics and manifest intent. Rather than treating these instances as problems that must be resolved if a Durkheimian model of social inquiry is to be ‘fixed’, this paper seeks to work with dualisms in Durkheim’s accounts of sovereignty, politics and identity, as a path toward understanding how shreds of past political identities and communities may be re-woven, in a post-political context, into ‘impossible’ but nonetheless mobilizing representations.


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