Year: 1981 Source: Canadian Journal of Sociology, v.6, (1981), p.447-461 SIEC No: 19842194

To illustrate rhetorical approaches to texts in the social sciences, this essay takes Durkheim’s “Suicide”, commonly thought to be a positivist exemplar, & reads it as moral discourse. The first part suggests the illumination given to the patterns of argumentation when the volume is treated as a response to a contemporary situation that could be shaped by persuasive discourse. The classic status of the volume is presented as resulting from its use as a rhetorical authority.