Émile DurkheimDavid Émile Durkheim ( or ; 15 April 1858 – 15 November 1917) was a French sociologist. He formally established the academic discipline of sociology and—with Karl Marx and Max Weber —is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science.
From his lifetime, much of Durkheim's work would be concerned with how societies could maintain their integrity and coherence in modernity, an era in which traditional social and religious ties are no longer assumed, and in which new social institutions have come into being. His first major sociological work would be (1893; ''The Division of Labour in Society''), followed in 1895 by (''The Rules of Sociological Method''), the same year in which Durkheim would set up the first European department of sociology and become France's first professor of sociology. Durkheim's seminal monograph, ''Le Suicide'' (1897), a study of suicide rates in Catholic and Protestant populations, especially pioneered modern social research, serving to distinguish social science from psychology and political philosophy. The following year, in 1898, he established the journal ''L'Année Sociologique''. (1912; ''The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life'') presented a theory of religion, comparing the social and cultural lives of aboriginal and modern societies.
Durkheim would also be deeply preoccupied with the acceptance of sociology as a legitimate science. He refined the positivism originally set forth by Auguste Comte, promoting what could be considered as a form of epistemological realism, as well as the use of the hypothetico-deductive model in social science. For Durkheim, sociology was the science of ''institutions'', understanding the term in its broader meaning as the "beliefs and modes of behaviour instituted by the collectivity," with its aim being to discover structural social facts. As such, Durkheim was a major proponent of structural functionalism, a foundational perspective in both sociology and anthropology. In his view, social science should be purely holistic, in that sociology should study phenomena attributed to society at large, rather than being limited to the specific actions of individuals.
He remained a dominant force in French intellectual life until his death in 1917, presenting numerous lectures and published works on a variety of topics, including the sociology of knowledge, morality, social stratification, religion, law, education, and deviance. Durkheimian terms such as "collective consciousness" have since entered the popular lexicon. Provided by Wikipedia
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