Individualisme sociologique et société individualiste chez Durkheim

Stéphane Vibert


To re-read Durkheim in the light of ‘socio-anthropological holism’ amounts to rejecting the factitious duality between individualism and determinism in order to better understand the fertile tension between, on the one hand, the normatively assumed Durkheimian aim of an emancipatory dynamic, guaranteeing individual rights and personal freedoms, and, on the other hand, the maintenance of a morally unified society, guided by a common ideal, now democratically debatable - in other words, sociological individualism and an individualistic society. Thus appears the Durkheimian figure of the ‘person’, this modern individual being no longer a ferment of social dissolution, but the basis of a renewed association. At their respective levels, the social State and the intermediate bodies play a fundamental role in the effective realization of this normative ideal. Nevertheless, there remains the question of the specific form of ‘totalization’ achieved by the political sphere in modernity, and in particular its concretization in the form of a cosmopolitan-oriented republican nation-state, with irreducibly specific cultural and historical forms.

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