Loïc Wacquant distinguishes three major strains of positivism: Durkheimian , Logical, and Instrumental.  None of these are the same as that set forth by Comte, who was unique in advocating such a rigid (and perhaps optimistic) version.   While Émile Durkheim rejected much of the detail of Comte's philosophy, he retained and refined its method. Durkheim maintained that the social sciences are a logical continuation of the natural ones into the realm of human activity, and insisted that they should retain the same objectivity, rationalism, and approach to causality.  He developed the notion of objective sui generis "social facts" to delineate a unique empirical object for the science of sociology to study. 
Finally, labeling theory serves as an important frame for those who study deviance and crime. Sociologists who follow this school of thought would argue that there is a process of labeling by which deviance comes to be recognized as such. From this standpoint, the societal reaction to deviant behavior suggests that social groups actually create deviance by making the rules whose infraction constitutes deviance, and by applying those rules to particular people and labeling them as outsiders.
Commentary on the state of history and the essay in Secondary Education
As for the talk itself, you can watch it on video. The walkout comes at about 29 minutes into the tape. You can hear students criticizing the protesters as they leave. (A brief video with a better camera angle on the walkout can be found here .) But the real takeaway from the video is that, agree or disagree, the dreaded Epstein laid out a perfectly reasonable case for the importance of fossil fuels and the dangers of putting the industry that produces them out of business without an economically viable substitute. The notion that a talk like this is out of place at an institution of higher education is pernicious. If anything, students desperately need to hear Epstein’s side of the story.