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.

Establishing a Social Science
Establishing a social science

The last half decade prior to the turning of the 19th century into the 20th was a tremendously productive time for Durkheim. In addition to starting the sociological journal l'Année sociologique during this period, he published two of the four major books produced during his lifetime, The Rules of Sociological Method and Suicide. In these books, issues surrounding the establishment of a properly sociological method of inquiry and investigation are paramount. Durkheim argued at length in both for a definition of sociology that carved out an entirely new epistemological space for the discipline, an approach that involved taking what he called social facts as data that could not be reduced to the individual level, despite the fact that ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles