On July 22, 1975, Maurice Manel died in Montreal at the age of 35. A fertile, scholarly, and ironical mind, he is greatly missed by his friends at the University of California, Berkeley where he had just received his Ph.D.; his colleagues at Atkinson College of York University in Toronto; and those who knew him at Johns Hopkins and McGill, where he also did graduate work in sociology.
Maurice's sociological interests were diverse. During the last few years of his life he was beginning a series of papers on what might be called the sociology of the extreme emotions. He was interested in the structural underpinnings of ecstasy, depression, feelings of vulnerability and intimidation, shyness, loneliness, etc. In contrast, his dissertation, which reflected an earlier concern with politics and survey methods, dealt with the conditions that would promote loyalty to the moral order of laissez-faire capitalism on the one hand and welfare-oriented capitalism on the other.
For all the complexities of his mind, Maurice remained loyal to certain passions of his Montreal boyhood ; Grade B movies, Borscht Belt comedians, hockey, football, chess, and the like. Similarly, although he never married, Maurice liked children and they responded to his warmth.
Maurice's wit and humor enlivened many social gatherings. He was able to see absurdities and foibles in both himself and others truly a rare quality. It is thus with sadness that we make these remarks about this open, ardent, restless spirit who was our friend. Certainly our lives were enriched by having known him.
From: Footnotes (November, 1976) of the American Sociological Association, written by Ayad Al-Qazzaz, S.A. Longstaff, Samuel P. Oliner, and James L. Wood