Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/142

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1 20 Reviews.

is the first publication of the newly-formed Sociological Society, of which Mr. Bryce is President, and our old friend and former President, Mr. E. W. Brabrook, Chairman of Council. It con- sists of the papers read at meetings of the Society during its first session, with notes of the subsequent discussions, and also written comments and criticisms by members unable to be present. The last seems a particularly useful feature. The Society has been fortunate in securing the adhesion of some of the most eminent Continental and American sociologists, and the consequent inter- change of views must make for union and progress in the field of study. The present volume deals mainly with the science of Sociology itself, and with the special points of Civic Life and " Eugenics." On neither of the two latter is it necessary to dwell here, but the subject of Sociology itself concerns us more nearly. We ourselves are students of social institutions ; in what relation do we stand to the professed sociologists ? How is their field of work to be distinguished from ours ? We have long outgrown the idea that the object of the folklorist is the mere barren " study of survivals," but where are we to stop in the study of developments ? Why do we instinctively feel that the funeral pyre of the Hindoo comes within our scope, and the Crematorium at Woking does not ? Where, in short, does the folklorist end and the sociologist begin ?

These questions must inevitably occur to every folklorist who may take up the volume before us, though they are neither directly raised nor directly answered in it. In fact, few writers besides our good friend, M. Durkheim, — who (pp. 273, 274) does full justice to the labours of the "anthropological school" — seem aware of the work done by folklorists. But in delimiting their own study, they do something towards defining the scope of ours.

The secretary, Mr. V. V. Branford, thus sketches the task of the sociologist : " (i) That he must construct a reasoned account of the existing phase of that interaction of the sciences and of the arts which we call contemporary civilisation; (2) that he must reconstruct the corresponding phases which historically have preceded and developed the contemporary phase ; and (3) that he must work out ideals of more ordered development for the future," (p. 229). Now, surely, the work of "reconstructing