Robert Hertz

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Robert Hertz (1881-1915) was a French sociologist whose life was cut tragically short when he was killed in WWI.

Hertz was a student at the École Normale Supérieure, from which he agregated in philosophy in 1904, finishing first in his class. After a brief period of study in England at the British Museum he returned to France, where he began doctoral work with mile Durkheim and Marcel Mauss. His speciality was the sociology of religion. An important member of the Annee Sociologique team, he is known for his early study Death and the Right Hand which influenced Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard and which many consider to be a precursor to Claude Lvi-Strauss's structuralism. His uncompleted doctoral dissertation was entitled Sin and Expiation in Primitive Socieites. Sections of it, along with his articles for the Anee and his correspondence with his wife, have been published.

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