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David Pocock's contributions and the legacy of Leavis

By Jonathan Parry and Edward Simpson


David Pocock (1928-2007) co-founded this journal with Louis Dumont, and it is easy to assume that they were intellectually more 'like-minded' than we believe was really the case. In the first part of this appreciation, we offer some biographical and intellectual context for Pocock's career. In the second, we identify the principal ways in which his sociological project did converge with Dumont's and the respects in which it seems fundamentally different. Both were deeply influenced by Evans-Pritchard; but much of their difference is explained, we suggest, by Pocock's prior loyalty to the teachings of the literary critic, F.R. Leavis. For good or ill, Pocock's more reflexive preoccupations and his concern with the moral complexity of social life chime better with, and indeed anticipate, subsequent theoretical trends in the discipline

Topics: HM Sociology
Publisher: Sage Publications
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1177/006996671004400305
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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