EMILE DURKHEIM- Paper

EMILE DURKHEIM- Paper - Emile Durkheim French Sociologist...

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Emile Durkheim French Sociologist Emile Durkheim (1982) stated, “Sociology can then be defined as the science of institutions, of their genesis and of their functioning” (p.57). He was known as the founder of modern sociology, the “father” of functionalism, the French education system and French sociology. He was one of the most influential individuals to establish sociology as a scientific discipline. Today’s sociologists recognize Durkheim as one of the world’s greatest social thinkers. His concepts and contributions have had an enormous impact on both modern sociology and modern sociologists. Durkheim’s theories established sociology as a “social science,” and many social thinkers of the third millennium are influenced by his thoughts. Biographical Sketch Emile Durkheim was born on April 15, 1858, in Epinal, France. Durkheim was Jewish; he came from a long line of Jewish descendent; his father, grandfather, and even his great- grandfather were all devout French Jewish Rabbis. Moise, Emile’s father, was the chief Rabbi of Vosges and Haute-Marne, and the Rabbi of Epinal for over half a century. Emile and his siblings were raised in the Ashkenazi Jewish faith and attended rabbinical school and studied languages, such as, Hebrew and Talmud. In 1870, France was defeated in the Franco-Prussian War; this event exposed him to anti- Semitism and his rejection of Judaism to follow more agnostic views. At this time he began to look at religion from an academic view, as opposed to his theological upbringing. Durkheim believed people shouldn’t worship a “god” they should worship society, he became extremely patriotic this led to his promotion and acceptance of French secularism. During the following years, he began attending the College d’Epinal, he was recognized for his intellect and received honors while there. Then he transferred to a well renowned French high school, the Lycee Louis-le-Grand in Paris, his main accomplishment while there was to be - 1 -
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accepted into Ecole Normale Superieure, they only accepted the best, Durkheim wasn’t accepted until his third attempt, in 1879. Durkheim became frustrated with the school’s curriculum, he thought the teachers new little about many topics, when he believed it was more beneficial to know a lot about a few specific areas of study. Durkheim viewed that scientific methods and research were of utmost importance, however, he attended a school that did not see education the same way he did. In 1882, Emile Durkheim graduated from Ecole Normale Superieure. He taught philosophy (at the time there was no sociology) for a few years in Paris, at many provincial schools. He went to a German University in 1885 and he was introduced to scientific psychology, founded by Wilhelm Wundt. This new social science boosted Emile to begin publishing many of his concepts and theories about social sciences. Two years later he received a position in the department of philosophy at the University of Bordeaux because of his recently
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EMILE DURKHEIM- Paper - Emile Durkheim French Sociologist...

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