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.

Unfinished Business: La Morale, the Family, and the War

Unfinished Business: La Morale, the Family, and the War
Unfinished business: La Morale, the family, and the war

By his mid-fifties—that is, into the second decade of the 20th century—Durkheim had already produced a vast body of work. When war came to Europe again in the summer of 1914, he and his allies jumped into the French war effort. During the Great War, France suffered horribly, and the Année sociologique group was especially hard hit. In 1915, one of Durkheim's strongest and most promising young students, Robert Hertz, was mowed down during a suicidal advance on German lines in Lorraine. Later that same year, Durkheim's only son, André, was killed in battle at the Bulgarian front. Durkheim learned the crushing news only several months later, in ...

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