Emile Durkheim

2066 Words Jul 5th, 2008 9 Pages
David Emile Durkheim
Sociological Theory
Rosanna Ashley
May 1, 2008 I. Biography
David Emile Durkheim was one of the founders of sociology. He was born April 15, 1858 at Epinal in the Eastern French province of Lorraine. He was the fourth child and second son of Moise and Melanie Durkheim. His family was Ashkenazic Jewish, and his father was a rabbi. It was said that young Emile would follow in his father’s footsteps and become a rabbi as well. (Ashley, 2005)
However at the young age of thirteen, he took up with a Catholic woman teacher, who influenced him. He decided to move to Paris and study Catholicism. This was a short-lived experience for young Emile, as he realized that he preferred to study religion from an agnostic
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Two years later he produced The Rules of Sociological Method and two more years later he wrote Le Suicide. These became Durkheim’s three major works, and moved him into the forefront of the academic world. (coser, 1971)
In 1898 he founded a scholarly journal called L’Anne Sociologique. He also published a famous paper on Individual and Collective Representations and a series of seminal papers. These include: “The Determination of Moral Facts”, “Value Judgments and Judgments of Reality”, “Primitive Classification”, and “The Definition of Religious Phenomena”. (coser, 1971)
Nine years after joining the faculty at the University of Bordeaux, he was promoted to a full time professor in social science, the first position in France; he became the chairman of the department for six years. In 1902 he was called to the Sorbonne, First as a charge de cours, then in 1906 as a professor of education. (coser, 1971)
The last few years at Bordeaux, he had become interested in the study of religious phenomena; he turned to the study of primitive religion. This point in his life led to the publication in 1912 of his last major work, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Shortly after his fourth and final work him felt obliged when the war came. He became the secretary of the committee for the Publication of Studies and Documents on the war. (coser, 1971)
Just before Christmas in 1915,

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