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Transcript of Emile Durkheim
Relevance/Connection to Sociology Today
Born in 1858 into a conservative Jewish family
Father was a Rabbi
He was expected to be one too
Durkheim began schooling to be a Rabbi
Changed schools, deciding not to follow family's path
Studied at ‘Lycee Louis le Grand
Entered École Normale Supérieure in 1879
Guided by Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges
Career and Life
In 1882, passed his aggregation and began to teach philosophy
In 1885, left for Marburg, Berlin and Leipzig to study social science
"The Division of Labor In Society" (1892)
Made him famous in France
In 1887, he taught the first social science course at the University of Bordeaux
Reformed French school system
His lectures were required to attend by entire student body
Also influenced new generations of teachers
In 1897, married Louise Dreyfus
Had 2 children, Marie and Andre
"The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life" (1912)
Devoted himself to cause of national defense when World War I began
His son Andre was killed at the Balkan Front in 1916
Constant grief weakened him and his spirit
Durkheim died in 1917 from a stroke
"Father of Sociology"
Helped establish and define field of sociology as a science
Society's parts are interrelated & dependent.
There is a "normal" way that society functions, an equilibrium.
If out of order, the other parts will adjust to achieve that equilibrium.
Agarwal, Priya. "What Are the Major Contributions of Emile Durkheim to Sociology?" What Are the Major Contributions of Emile Durkheim to Sociology? Preserve Articles, n.d. Web. 13 May 2015.
Johansson, Arthur. "Emile Durkheim." Emile Durkheim. N.p., 14 Feb. 2012. Web. 06 May 2015.
Mason, Timothy. "Durkheim on Deviance." Durkheim on Deviance. California State University, 4 Nov. 2001. Web. 13 May 2015.
Odell Korgen, Kathleen, and Jonathan M. White. The Engaged Sociologist. 4th ed. N.p.: Sage Publications, 2014. Print.
Crime and punishment are necessary and helpful
Deviance is bound to occur
Punishment provides socialization
Deviants unite people in dislike towards social change
The Rules of
Following Scientific Method
How we collect an analyze data
Differentiating Sociology from Psychology and Philosophy
Studying Social Facts
Relations of Social Facts
...is the set of shared beliefs, ideas and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society.
Durkheim attempted to establish sociology as a real science
, which he defined as:
"Any way of acting, whether fixed or not, capable of exerting over the individual an external constraint.
Which is general over the whole of a given society whilst having an existence of its own, independent of its individual manifestations."
Rates (Birth, Crime, Suicide, Marriage, Substance abuse)
More generally: Laws, Religion, Language/Ethnicity, Family roles, etc.
These form the basis of most sociological studies, including Durkheim's own: Division of Labor, Religion, Suicide rates (all social facts)
Laguna, Theodore De. "The Sociological Method of Durkheim." The Philosophical Review 29.3 (1920): 213-25. Web.
Carls, Paul. "Émile Durkheim (1858—1917)." Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2015. <http://www.iep.utm.edu/durkheim/>.
De Laguna, Theodore. The Sociological Method of Durkheim. 3rd ed. Vol. 29. N.p.: Duke UP, 1920. The Philosophical Review. JSTOR. Web. 13 May 2015.
White, David. Inter-Dependent Relationships. Digital image. Structural Functionalism: Definition, Theory & Examples. Study.com, n.d. Web. <http://study.com/cimages/multimages/16/interdependent.png>.
Goldney, Robert D., Johan A. Schioldann, and Kirsten I. Dunn. "Suicide Research before Durkheim." Health and History 10.2 (2008): 73. Web.
Crossman, Ashley. "The Study Of Suicide." About.com. About Education, 2009. Web. 20 May 2015.
Emirbayer, Mustafa. "Durkheim's Contribution to the Sociological Analysis of History." Sociological Forum 11.2 (1996): 263-84. JSTOR. Web. 20 May 2015.
Relation to Internet today
Sociology was not seen as an independent field at the beginning of his studies
Much of his work used sociological approaches to analyze topics that had initially been reserved for philosophical investigation
In 1898, Emile Durkheim founded the Annee Sociologique: the first journal in France focusing solely on social sciences
Spent some time bringing awareness to the hostility among Christians towards Jews
Believed that each society is a part of a sui generis reality: a reality unique to itself and irreducible to its composing parts
“It is created when individual consciences interact and fuse together to create a synthetic reality that is completely new and greater than the sum of the individual.”
Developed a sociological methodology around the scientific study of “social facts”: the elements of collective life that exist independently and are able to exert influence on the individual
Published several articles and reviews on top of four books, many of his lectures were published posthumously
Presents a reconception of the social structures of production and allocation as well as their roles in society
Questions how individualism could be maintained in a capitalist society
The Division of Labor in Society (1893)
Emphasizes the distinction between the natural and social sciences
Supports the combination of natural and social sciences for psychological purposes
The Rules of Sociological Method (1895)
Discusses the popularity of suicide and the causes that our society puts upon us
Talks about the impact suicide has on the victim, family, and society
Argues that suicide is most commonly the result of the isolation of a person from the rest of society
Questions the origin of religion and breaks it into five components:
Uses an archaic religion as a base form of reference for analyzing all religions
Believed it was the best approach in properly understanding the religious nature of man as well as the essential and permanent aspect of humanity
Expands on the idea that religion, philosophy, and morals are all developed by the collective mind of society
The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life (1912)
Elwell, Frank. "Emile Durkheim's Major Works." RSUFaculty.
Carls, Paul. "Emile Durkheim.” Encyclopedia of Philosophy. University of Montreal.
Barberis, D. "Emile Durkheim's Life and Works (1857-1917)." UChicago.