Durkheim, Émile

French sociologist. Durkheim was educated in philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, and gained his first university post at Bordeaux in 1887. He held a chair at the Sorbonne from 1902 until his death. Although his writings concern sociology and its practice rather than philosophy, they are philosophically important through their resolute hostility to methodological individualism . Durkheim mounted a sustained campaign for a distinct, proper, self-contained level of analysis in which social facts are conceived as having their own power and their own identity, and therefore make proper objects of study in their own right: ‘social facts are to be explained by other social facts.’ Any association of individuals creates its own level of fact, irreducible to a mere aggregate of individual psychological facts. His most famous work, Le Suicide (1897, trs. as Suicide, 1952), shows that this apparently personal and psychologically subjective act is in fact sociologically determined and a reflection of social pressures and currents. Durkheim also believed that awareness of this would create the scientific basis for proper social intervention and improvement. His work on the prohibition of incest and on totemism is sometimes hailed as an ancestor of structuralism, although his assumption that some forms of human life are primitive or ‘elementary’ compared with our own has occasioned substantial criticism. In his later years he studied religion as the most characteristic manifestation of social life; this work culminated in Les Formes élémentaires de la vie réligieuse (1912, trs. as The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, 1915).

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • DURKHEIM, ÉMILE — (1858–1917), French sociologist. Born in Epinal (Lorraine), France, of a long line of rabbinical ancestors, Durkheim initially prepared himself for the rabbinate. Although he never wrote directly on a Jewish topic, the interest in law, ethnology …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Durkheim, Émile — Durk·heim (dûrkʹhīm, dür kĕmʹ), Émile. 1858 1917. French social scientist and a founder of sociology who is known for his study of social values and alienation. His important works include The Rules of Sociological Method (1895). * * * born April …   Universalium

  • Durkheim, Émile — (1858 1917) The most famous French sociologist, long acknowledged as the founding figure of functionalism, but more recently hailed by leading authorities on structuralism , sociolinguistics (see conversation analysis ), and post modernism , all… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Durkheim, Émile — (1858 1917)    social theorist    One of the founders of modern sociology, Émile Durkheim was born in Épinal and graduated from the École normale supérieure in Paris. He began his career teaching social sciences, first at the university of… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Durkheim, Emile — (1858–1917)    Philosopher.    Durkheim was born in Epinal, Lorraine, of a Jewish family and was educated as a sociologist in Paris. Subsequently he taught at the Universities of Bordeaux and Paris. In the history of Christianity, he is primarily …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Durkheim, Émile — ► (1858 1917) Sociólogo francés. Según él, la psicología es el punto de encuentro de lo biológico y lo social. Obras: Sobre la división del trabajo social (1893), El suicidio y Estudio de sociología (1897), entre otras. * * * (abr. 1858, Epinal,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Durkheim, Emile — (1858–1917)    French sociologist. A member of a rabbinical family in Lorraine, Durkheim became the most influential European sociologist of his time. He occupied chairs first at Bordeaux and then at the Sorbonne in Paris and founded and edited… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Durkheim, Emile — (1858 1917)    French sociologist. He was born in Epinal. He became professor of sociology at the University of Bordeaux in 1887, and in 1902 he was appointed professor of sociology and education at the Sorbonne. He founded and edited L annee… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Durkheim — Durkheim, Émile …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Durkheim — Durkheim, Émile …   Enciclopedia Universal

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.