A posthumous life. Maurice Halbwachs
and French sociology (1945-2015)
Seen by his contemporaries as both a convinced and committed disciple of Durkheim, the legacy of Halbwachs has gone through three distinct stages, following the rhythm of publications on his work. Firstly, from 1945 to 1955, a rescue attempt which in various ways sought to distinguish it from that of the “French sociological school” and adapt it better to the new directions of a sociology that was reinventing itself; then, between 1964 and 1976, a division between new interpretations of the post-war period and historical re-evaluation in the context of Durkheim; finally, since the turn of the 1990s, and in the light of the popularity of the concept of collective memory, a new rationale of distinction attempting to justify the exceptional nature of his research. The posthumous life of Halbwachs traced here makes it possible to question both the interpretational approaches that inform the perspectives on his work and the constraints that weigh on the writing of its own history by French sociology.
HISTORY OF SOCIOLOGY – SOCIOLOGY OF RECEPTION – COLLECTIVE MEMORY – MAURICE HALBWACHS – EMILE DURKHEIM