Sociologist pants!

Perhaps I am the only person on the planet that fits this profile, but if you are a major Durkheim Trufan and you have a subscription to The New Republic, you can read Daniel Bell’s review of Fournier’s biography of Mauss. Although his contemporaries remarked on his incredible style and ‘long sociologist pants’ (I’m sure this sounds better in French) Bell paints Mauss as a perpetual under-achiever and Fournier has having a pretty narrow focus. I remember when this biography appeared in French and working through some of it and while I haven’t read any of the English translation, I do agree with Bell that this is not a ‘man and his times’ biography. But if you want all the geeky details about the Année Sociologique, this is the place to go — and now, best of all, it’s in English!


Alex Golub is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. His book Leviathans at The Gold Mine has been published by Duke University Press. You can contact him at

7 thoughts on “Sociologist pants!

  1. Q: What is the correct pronunciation of “Mauss”?
    A: In french ‘au’ turns to ‘o’; the doubled s turns the unpronounced s to a pronounced which makes ‘mos’ with an o like in option and a sharp s. A german pronounciation would b quite harder to explain to an anglosaxon.

  2. Good. The definition fits my expectation. But what does it mean to you to be a “Durkheim” trufan? Are we speaking of the Durkheim who wrote Suicide, the Durkheim who wroteThe Divison of Labor in Society, the Durkheim who wrote Rules of Sociological Method, the Durkheim who wrote The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, or all of the above?

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