Sociology Emile Durkheim and Max Weber

Topics: Sociology, Émile Durkheim, Max Weber Pages: 4 (1502 words) Published: October 12, 2010
There are many different perspectives on the growth of modernity. Society is constantly changing as more time passes by. People like Emile Durkheim and Max Weber both offer their own individual perspective on how the growth of modernity came about and how we have come to understand today’s society. In the 1890s period Emile Durkheim a sociologist, in France watched the transformation of society go from a ‘primitive’ stance into something more complex also known as ‘organic solidarity’. Max Weber a German sociologist on the other hand, his view was in regards to how the growth of government was a driving force in modernity to maintain order, organisation and administration of specialised functions. Both theses sociologists’ theories are interested in the social order of society as the core characteristic of modernity. In 1887 Emile Durkheim became the first Professor of Sociology at the University of Bordeaux, even though there was no department of sociology developed. (Bessant & Watts, 2007) In France there were many war casualties by World War I. The goal of Emile Durkheim was to develop a sociology that would help his country to conquer its continuing moral crisis. In achieving this he would encompass many themes of his predecessors such as Auguste Comte, Charles Montesquieu and Alexis de Tocqueville. (Stones, 1998) In addition to his emphasis on French origins of sociology, the German thinkers also influenced him. The empirical foundations of experimental German psychology by German scholars impressed him. They emphasised the importance of the collective moral life. Their understandings of the bases of social life are the rules, customs and morality not the reason and individual interests. According to Durkheim the subject matter of sociology are social facts. Social facts are “sui generis” (meaning of its own kind; unique) and must be studied distinct from biological and psychological phenomenon. (Elwell, 2003) His view on social phenomena is the same as...

References: Bessant, J., & Watts, R. (2007). Sociology Australia (3rd Ed). Crows Nest, NSW: Griffin Press
Ferrarotti, F. (2003). An invitation to classical sociology: meditations on some great social thinkers. United States of America: Lexington Books
Stones, R. (1998). Key Sociological Thinkers. Great Britain: Macmillan Press Ltd.
Steidman, S. (1998). Contested knowledge: social theory in the post-modern era (2nd Ed). Maldon, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Ltd
Elwell, F., (2003). The Sociology of Emile Durkheim, Retrieved April 30, 2009,
Elwell, F., (1996). The Sociology of Max Weber, Retrieved April 30, 2009
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