David Émile Durkheim (French: [emil dyʁkɛm] or [dyʁkajm]; April 15, 1858 – November 15, 1917) was a French sociologist. He formally established the academic discipline and, withKarl Marx and Max Weber, is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science and father of sociology.
Much of Durkheim's work was concerned with how societies could maintaintheir 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 majorsociological work was The Division of Labor in Society (1893). In 1895, he published his Rules of the Sociological Method and set up the first European department of sociology, becoming France's firstprofessor of sociology. In 1898, he established the journal L'Année Sociologique. Durkheim's seminal monograph, Suicide (1897), a study of suicide rates in Catholic and Protestant populations, pioneeredmodern social research and served to distinguish social science from psychology and political philosophy. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912), presented a theory of religion, comparing thesocial and cultural lives of aboriginal and modern societies.
Durkheim was also deeply preoccupied with the acceptance of sociology as a legitimate science. He refined the positivism originally setforth 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 him, sociology was thescience of institutions, its aim being to discover structural social facts. Durkheim was a major proponent of structural functionalism, a foundational perspective in both sociology and anthropology. Inhis view, social science should be purely holistic; that is, sociology should study phenomena attributed to society at large, rather than being limited to the specific actions of... [continua]
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