Emile Durkheim

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  • Topic: Sociology, Émile Durkheim, Anomie
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Emile Durkheim:

His Works and Contribution to Sociology

The Life of Emile Durkheim
Emile Durkheim was born on April 15, 1858 in Lorraine, France. He was born to be the son of a chief Rabbi and it quickly expected that young Emile would follow suit of the occupations of his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Emile was sent to a rabbinical school. However, things did not turn out as planned when Emile moved to Paris (Macionis, 2012).

In his early teens, he abandoned religion but stayed close to the Jewish community. Durkheim became a brilliant student, and was awarded several prizes and honors throughout his years of schooling. His academic ambition was the prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure, in which he worked tenaciously to gain acceptance. At the age of 21, on the third try, he finally attained his goal of joining the ranks of other great intellectual and political leaders such as socialist Jean Jaurès, psychologist Pierre Janet, philosophers Henri Bergson, and Maurice Blondel, all of whom had been, or were soon to be studying at the famed institution ("Emile durkheim," 2002).

Durkheim then successfully passed his agrégation (the competitive examination required for admission to the teaching staff of state secondary schools), and began teaching philosophy. He joined the Faculty of Letters at Bordeaux in 1882 (Barberis, 2011). Throughout this period, Durkheim’s primary responsibility was to lecture on the theory, history, and practice of education. However, each Saturday morning, he also taught a public lecture course on social science, devoted to specialized studies of particular social phenomena, including social solidarity, family and kinship, incest, totemism, suicide, crime, religion, socialism, and law (Barberis, 2011). The "Science Sociale" was instated at Bordeaux under Durkheim and soon after, sociology officially entered the French university system ("Emile durkheim," 2002). In 1887,...
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