Emile DurkheimTheory: Priority of social over individual; the idea that society can be studies scientifically. Background•Position in French Academy (respected, lived comfortably)•Jewish background (not a practiced Jew, became agnostic) saw religion as social force•Sensitive to Anti-Semitism of French•Believed that sociology (idea) was born in France in 19th century•Sociology should be oriented toward empirical research.•Immediate Effect on devlp. Of Early American sociology•1940s-1950s We adopted Durkheim’s thinking •Current debate over Marx’s change alienated labor to that of comm. similar debate of Durkheim social facts then later to religion (shift)•Major influences on Western SociologyoMethodology- statistical comparisons across social categoriesoFunctionalism- organismic analogy; social structures (ex. Division of labor) contribute toward stability of society. oMeta- Narrative- increasing complexity and individualization, but anomic and need for moral educationDurkheim’s Assumptions of Human nature:•Appetites for external satisfactionoAlways wanting more w/o social constraint (makes us human)oSocial constraint good thing saw greater degree of individualism but need to be balance w/social constraint.“How does society effectively restrain individual?”Social Facts- the social structures and cultural norms and values that are external to and coercive of actors. •Occur outside of the individual; apart from individual but have an effect on the individual•1) Experienced as an external constraint rather than an internal drive 2) General throughout the society and is not attached to any particular individual.
•Society is made up of social facts that exceed our intuitive understanding and must be investigated through observations and measurements. oLanguage as social fact:Is a thing which must be studied empiricallyExternal to the individualCoercive of the individualChanges in language can be explained only by other social facts and never by one individuals intentions•Material Social facts- concrete, directly, empirically observable; styles of architecture, legal codes•Non-Material Social Facts- not directly observable, but just as much impact as material; moral values, norms, culture, levels of social integration, social regulation in society (Durkheim’s main interest)•Relational Realism-interactions, have their own levels of realityNON- Material Social Facts (Most important to Durkheim)Morality