David Émile Durkheim (1858-1917


• Educated in both France and Germany • Son, grandson, great grand son died of rabbis • First person to successfully include social science in the French curriculum • Founded the department of Sociology at the University of Bordeux • Father of modern Sociology • Identified Sociology as a separate discipline • Famous for his works on Suicide • Became chair of education at the Sorbonne (University of Paris)’ • His view points were varied when World War I began • Suffered a stroke due to fatigue; caused by the death of his son Andre’ who was drafted as a soldier

.Suicide  It is a relatively concrete and specific phenomenon for which there were comparatively good data available.  He is not concerned with studying why any specific individual committed suicide.  It is generally considered to be one of the most private and personal acts.

Two Related Ways of Evaluating Suicide Rates Compare different societies or other types of collectivities Look at the changes in the suicide rate in the same collectivity over time. .

refers to the strength of the attachment that we have to society.  Regulation . 1976)  Integration . .refers to the degree of external constraint on people.The Two Underlying Social Facts (Pope.

In short it is more likely occur when social imagination is too weak.The Four Types of Suicide  Egoistic Suicide – having a lack of integration leads to a feeling that the individual is not part of the individual. . The individual is literally forced into committing suicide.  Altruistic Suicide – it is more likely to occur when “social integration is too strong”. This type of suicide as the result of "excessive individuation“.

 Fatalistic Suicide – it is more likely occur when regulation is excessive. 1897/1951:276). “Persons with futures pitilessly blocked and passions violently choked by oppressive discipline” (Durkheim. Anomic Suicide – it is more likely occur when the regulative powers of society are disrupted or too weak. .

The Four Types Of Suicide Integration LOW Egoistic Suicide HIGH Altruistic Suicide Regulation LOW Anomic Suicide HIGH Fatalistic Suicide .

 He argued that religion was an expression of social cohesion.  Durkheim alleged that social forces were akin to natural forces and always believed that collective ideas shaped social practices as well as vice versa.Religion  Talcott Parsons was influenced by the views of Durkheim  Parsons believed that Durkheim is primarily a positivist who tried to apply the methods of the natural sciences to the study of society. .

Profane – the common place.Theory of Religion – The Sacred and the Profane Sacred – aspects of social reality. . It is created through rituals that transform the moral power of society into religious symbols which bind individuals to the group. the mundane aspects of life. the utilitarian.

either with each other or with profane things. and Church Beliefs – the representations which express the nature of sacred things and the relations which they sustain. . Rituals – the rules of conduct which prescribe how a man should comfort himself in the presence of these sacred objects. Rituals. Church – the moral community where they unified their system of beliefs and practices into one single.Beliefs.

commemoration or expiation. mythical personalities 3. . Belief in souls. communion. Sacred/Profane division of the world 2. Rites of oblation.The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life 1. A negative or ascetic cult within the religion 5. spirits. imitation. either local or multi-local 4. Belief in divinity.

Durkheim condensed religion into four major functions:  Disciplinary. happiness. bringing people together. a strong bond  Vitalizing. to make livelier or vigorous. confidence. well-being . boost spirit  Euphoric. forcing or administrating discipline  Cohesive. a good feeling. vitalize.

and coercive of actors. capable of exercising on the individual an external constraint. while at the same time existing in its own independent of the individual manifestations.Social Facts Social Structures and cultural norms and values that are external to. every way of acting which is general throughout a given society. fixed or not. -Émile Durkheim . We should study social facts by: • Acquiring data from outside of our own minds through observation and experimentation A social fact is ever way of acting. or again.

Two Types of Social Facts Material Social facts • Physical social structures which exert influence on an individual Nonmaterial Social Facts • Values and norms and other conceptually held belief .

. • the transition from more "primitive" societies to advanced industrial societies.The Division of Labor In Society • describes how social order is maintained in societies based on two very different forms of solidarity MECHANICAL and ORGANIC.

the law had to be repressive and penal. • Durkheim viewed crime as an act that "offends strong and defined states of the collective conscience. is what allows social order to be maintained. to respond to offences of the common conscience.Mechanical Solidarity • In a "primitive" society. mechanical solidarity. with people acting and thinking alike and with a collective or common conscience. ." • Because social ties were relatively homogeneous and weak throughout society.

law would be more restitory than penal.Organic Solidarity • In an advanced. . capitalist society. industrial. seeking to restore rather than punish excessively. • Durkheim argued that moral regulation was needed. to maintain order (or organic solidarity) in society with people able to "compose their differences peaceably". • In this type of society. as well as economic regulation. the complex division of labor means that people are allocated in society according to merit and rewarded accordingly: social inequality reflects natural inequality.

• However. and anomie. crisis. once society has reached the "advanced" stage.• He thought that transition of a society from "primitive" to advanced may bring about major disorder. . it becomes much stronger and is done developing.

• Stood in opposition to both the conservatives and the radicals of his day.Social Reformism • Durkheim believed that the role of social science was to provide guidance for specific kinds of social intervention. . • Saw problems in modern society as temporary aberrations and not as inherent difficulties.

Early and Late Durkheimian Theory • Durkheim’s theories were primarily as were more of a positivist’s perspective but later reverted to being an idealist. • the goal of his theories was to explain how individual humans are shaped by social fact. .

but the underlying structure regarded in its normative aspects. .Criticisms • The theory of society that Durkheim developed in the Division of Labor places primary emphasis upon the role of a society's legal framework as an 'external' (visible. observable) indicator of not simply the society's underlying structure.

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