This new volume of the SAGE Social Thinkers series provides a concise introduction to the work, life, and influences of Émile Durkheim, one of the informal “holy trinity” of sociology's founding thinkers, along with Weber and Marx. The author shows that Durkheim's perspective is arguably the most properly sociological of the three. He thought through the nature of society, culture, and the complex relationship of the individual to the collective in a manner more concentrated and thorough than any of his contemporaries during the period when sociology was emerging as a discipline.
Morality, Law, the State, and Politics
If there is one thing that can be asserted with confidence about Durkheim, it is that he was concerned with the nature of morality for the entirety of his adult life. For Durkheim, a focus on the moral foundation of human society led inevitably to the study of the various institutions charged with the production and reproduction of moral beliefs and discipline: the family, the occupational group, and the State. According to his nephew Marcel Mauss, Durkheim was setting to work on a major book on morality at the time of his death, and the evidence of his concern for moral questions is widespread in his existing writing. All four of his major books ...