Sociology and Emile Durkheim

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Topics: Sociology
Compare and contrast the theories and methods of Emile Durkheim and Max Weber regarding social behavior.

1.Introduction
Emile Durkheim and Max Weber are founding fathers of sociology and outstanding sociologists who made great contributions to the development of sociology and progress of human beings. Previous studies have been done about the theories and methods of Durkheim and Weber, and their works have also been studied for many times from different viewpoints, such as the nature of human and social world, their mutual unawareness of each other and so on. However, few studies have been done to compare and contrast their thoughts and methodologies on social behavior. This essay examines Durkheim’ and Weber’s theories and methods regarding social behavior and discusses the similarities and differences between them. In the first part of this essay, Durkheim’s theory of social behavior-social facts, which is independently of individuals and have coercive power-will be presented and then the method he used-statistics and comparison--will be discussed. The second part of this work will analyze Weber’s theory of social behavior-social action, action which is directed to another human beings-and then the method-verstehen, which involves the interpretive understanding of social action-and tool-Ideal Types, imagined by scientist to compare social phenomena-will be presented clearly. Further more, I will move on to the major part of this essay, in this part, similarities such as that they both use comparison in their research, and difference between Durkheim’s and Weber’s theories and methods on social behavior such as their attitudes towards individuals, will be proposed from different aspects and perspectives respectively.

2.Emile Durkheim’s theory and method regarding social behavior
Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) is a French sociologist and one of the key thinkers of early positivism. Positivism is an epistemological approach,Which applies the scientific method to

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