Émile Durkheim held the first designated French university chair of social science, at the University of Bordeaux, from 1896 until 1902, after which he taught at the Sorbonne in Paris. His major works, now regarded as classics, helped lay the foundation for sociology as a discipline. They defined many of its enduring questions, methods, and concepts. His first book, The Division of Labor in Society (1893 in French), made law prominent among sociology's concerns. While he approached law differently in his later writing, acquiring much greater subtlety, his early theses remain his best-known contributions to the sociology of law.

Law and Social Solidarity

Durkheim, influenced by Auguste Comte's (1798–1857) positivist philosophy, adopted the view that sociologists may observe social phenomena not reducible to individual psychology as “facts” ...

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