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.



Do I contradict myself?

Very well then I contradict myself,

(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself.”

Durkheim's work indeed contains multitudes of ideas, and they are sometimes contradictory, vulnerable to attack on many grounds. He was a man of his times. He was also an academic maverick, and so convinced of the rightness of his sociological theories that he was not very open to revision. Why then read Durkheim?

Why Read Durkheim?

Durkheim on the family is of interest because his times were, in many ways, our times. Parallel policy questions were on the table in these two turn-of-the-century eras. Durkheim's sociology of the family is also of interest because it is foundational to certain strains of present-day or recent past perspectives on the family. ...

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