Raymond Boudon, Robert Leroux

Does Sociology Still Exist? Publication date : January 1, 2003

“These talks were the occasion to bring up in a conversational tone a number of issues that I had not yet had the leisure to address, because they were outside the scope of the scientific publications which I had so far almost entirely restricted myself to. Robert Leroux and I agreed that we would limit ourselves to my intellectual journey. The classical as well as modern sociologists evoked during these informal discussions may also serve to incite the reader to a further study of sociology, and perhaps of a different sociology,” writes Raymond Boudon.
For more than thirty years, Raymond Boudon has dedicated himself to the development of a form of scientific sociology in the tradition of the founding fathers. But although he has always shown great respect for Durkheim, Weber, Tocqueville, Pareto and Simmel, this has never stopped him from interpreting them freely. And like his precursors, he has assigned himself the task of interpreting hard-to-understand “opaque phenomena”. The scope and influence of Boudon’s lifelong work are vast.
In this book, readers will be struck by his forceful analyses and subtle reasoning. They will discover his theses on education, on ideology and on the use of mathematics in sociology. They will examine his thoughts on the foundations of sociology, and his recent analyses of values and of rationality.
They will realise that Boudon’s sociology encompasses an undeniable critical aspect: it once served to explain the limits of Marxism and structuralism; it can now be used to call into question much of the accepted wisdom on subjects such as postmodernism and globalisation.

Raymond Boudon, a professor at the University of Paris-Panthéon-Sorbonne, is a member of the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques and of the Academia Europaea. He is the president of the European Academy of Sociology and the author of many books that are regarded as classics in their field, including L’Analyse mathématique des faits sociaux, La logique du social, Effets pervers et ordre social, Dictionnaire critique de la sociologie, L’Inégalité des chances, L’Idéologie ou l’origine des idées reçues and L’Art de se persuader.
Robert Leroux is a professor in the Department of Sociology of the University of Ottawa. He specialises in the history of sociological thought and in the epistemology of the social sciences. He is the author of Histoire et sociologie en France.