French sociologist Émile Durkheim (1858–1917) has played a fundamental part in the development of the sociology of education. Born in 1858, Durkheim is considered one of the fathers of the discipline of sociology, and his work has also had a profound impact within other fields in the social sciences, perhaps most notably in the field of British social anthropology. Along with Marcel Mauss (also his nephew), Paul Fauconnet, and other followers centered around the famous journal L'Année Sociologique, Durkheim was pivotal in the establishment of sociology as a discipline based on scientific method, the analysis of empirical data, and on the existence of “social facts“—inalienable social phenomena that exist objectively in society and that serve to shape the actions and beliefs of individuals in a ...

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