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Homo Duplex

Barry Glassner, 5 May 1983

Positivism and Sociology: Explaining Social Life 
by Peter Halfpenny.
Allen and Unwin, 141 pp., £10.95, October 1982, 0 04 300084 3
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The Rules of Sociological Method and Selected Texts on Sociology and its Method 
by Emile Durkheim and Steven Lukes, translated by W.D. Halls.
Macmillan, 264 pp., £15, November 1982, 0 333 28071 7
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The Sociological Domain: The Durkheimians and the Founding of French Sociology 
edited by Philippe Besnard.
Cambridge, 296 pp., £24, March 1983, 0 521 23876 5
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Durkheim and the Study of Suicide 
by Steve Taylor.
Macmillan, 249 pp., £15, July 1982, 0 333 28645 6
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... At a conference several years ago, a participant glared at the three sociologists who had just presented their papers. ‘The trouble with you is your rup,’ he said. Throughout the auditorium colleagues whispered to each other, ‘Rup?’ ‘What is rup?’ until the man on the platform translated: residual unresolved positivism. By accusing the speakers of rup, he implied that they might cleanse themselves of the remnants of positivism and become decent scholars again ...

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