• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Offering a major challenge to established textbooks and pointing to inspiring new ways of approaching sociology, this book presents a notable shift in introductory sociology. Too often the subject is taught as a dry and detached system of thought and practice. Passion is regarded as something to avoid or to treat with inherent suspicion. By asking questions about sociology and its relation to passion, the authors seek to revitalize the subject. The book introduces and develops a number of themes such as: identity, knowledge, magic, desire, power and everyday life. It argues that students should analyze these themes through practices including: reading, writing, speaking, storytelling and organizing. The authors aim to intr


Sensual representations are in a perpetual flux; they come after each other like the waves of a river, and even during the time that they last, they do not remain the same thing…. We are never sure of again finding a perception such as we experienced it the first time; for if the thing perceived has not changed, it is we who are no longer the same.

(Durkheim 1976:433)

What a lovely description of duration, or irreversible time, the time of sensual lived experience. But this troubles Durkheim. It disturbs his understanding scientific knowledge.

Durkheim is distinguishing ‘the concept’ from sensual representations as a way of setting out what is involved in a scientific sociology. In the process, he clearly articulates assumptions which inform much sociology. But ...

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