• Summary
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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.

Women and Sex: Challenges to the Family Order1
Women and sex: Challenges to the family order

Woman must seek equality in the functions which are in keeping with her true nature.

Durkheim (1900e:391)

It is because men and women differ from each other that they seek each other out with passion.

Durkheim ([1893] 1978:19)

In 1963, Betty Friedan spoke of “the problem that has no name” (p. 15). In turn-of-the-twentieth-century France, it had a name: “the problem of the sexes” or “the woman problem.” It had a theory: feminism. And it had a proposed solution: equality. All of these were subject to debate.

Durkheim was in the midst of this disputation about the status of women. He wrote reviews of feminist work and other scholarship on women. He took part in ...

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