Durkheim and the reflexive condition of modernity

Critical Horizons 7 (1):179-206 (2006)
Abstract
In this essay, Durkheim's work is approached from a double vantage point. One vantage point looks at Durkheim's work with a post-classical attitude that intersects the ontological recasting of the social in the work of Castoriadis. It is in the context of social opening that I will concentrate on Durkheim's work as it presents a model of reflexivity that concentrates on the historical development of the modern period. Durkheim's model of reflexivity also opens onto the other vantage point of political modernity, which is viewed as a particular constellation of the circulation of power, especially in nation-states, open forms of reflexivity, and democracy, in contrast to another political modernity that revolves around closed socially reflexive forms of totalitarianism and terrorism. Durkheim's work can be a fruitful point of departure for an analysis of political modernity because his theorisation occurs in a way that opens onto the historical development of its mode of reflexivity.
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