Emile Durkheim on the Family is intended to bring attention to this classical sociologist’s work on the family. Durkheim’s writings in this area are little known, but the family was nevertheless one of his primary interests, the subject of an intended book that was never written. Durkheim’s ideas on the family appear only in scattered sources and a number of those sources have not been translated into English. Durkheim’s Sociology of the family has not heretofore been presented and analyzed holistically.

The Origins and Evolution of the Family

The origins and evolution of the family

In order to understand the social phenomena of today to the degree necessary to shape their development, it is not sufficient to observe what is given in our current experience…. It is necessary to know how it came about, that is, to have traced in history the manner in which it is progressively composed. To have any chance of success in determining … what will be the society of tomorrow, it is indispensable to have studied the social forms of the distant past.

Durkheim (1899c:v)

For casual students of Durkheim, his career begins with The Division of Labor (Durkheim [1893]). But before that, he had published on the family (Durkheim 1888a). Durkheim's theory of ...

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