Emile Durkheim Essay

1798 words - 8 pages








Durkheim was born in the eastern Pascoag providence of Lorraine, which at that time was part of Germany, on April 15th 1858. He came from a long line of conservative French Jews but, he decided early ...view middle of the document...

In the 1890’s, Durkheim saw his greatest years of creative genius. In 1893 he published his doctoral dissertation, called The Division of Labour in Society, which addressed the nature of human society and its development. His interest in social happenings was fueled by politics. In 1895, he published the Rules of Sociological Method, a public declaration of principles and intentions telling what sociology was and how it should be accomplished. He also founded the first European Department of Sociology at the University of Bordeaux. In 1897 he published a case study on suicide and its connection with society. He worked with different groups of people and found the different rates of suicide found in these groups. And finally in 1898, he founded the journal, L'Année Sociologique, in order to publicize the promising works of sociology students and colleagues that shared his sociological views. In 1902, Emile finally achieved a prominent status in French society when he attained the chair of education at the Sorbonne.

His social theories stressed the importance of social facts which people must accept as objective "things." He argued against no-fault divorce, for example, on the grounds that his study of suicide showed that single people were more likely to take their lives. His goal was to provide a scientific basis for social order and morality to replace the narrow religious beliefs of more primitive communities. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. This was the analysis of religion being naught but social happenings, using the religions of aboriginal tribes in Australia. World War I had quite a tragic effect on Durkheim’s life. His own son was killed, which devastated him so emotionally that he never recovered. He died from exhaustion, on November 15th, 1917 at the age of 59.

Concern with morality and social order is a persistent theme in Durkheim's sociology. His work was shaped by a need to find a basis for order and morality in the secular world. His analysis of industrial society emphasized the tendencies towards order and harmony. He was well aware of social problems, conflicts and class struggles, but he assumed that they were temporary growing pains which would go away in the normal course of social development. This contrasts sharply with Marx who viewed the same phenomena as the very essence of capitalist societies and assumed that they would get progressively worse.
Emile .D. Durkheim (1858-1917), has had a more lasting impact on modern sociology than those of Comte. Although Durkheim drew on aspects of Comte’s work, he thought that many of his predecessor’s ideas were too speculative and vague and that Comte had not stressfully carried out his program to establish Sociology on a scientific basis. Durkheim saw sociology as a new science that could be used to elucidate traditional philosophical questions by examining them in an empirical manner like...

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