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The Social Thought of Emile Durkheim

The Social Thought of Emile Durkheim

  • Alexander Riley - Bucknell University, USA, University of California San Diego, USA, Wesleyan University, USA

February 2014 | 280 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

This new volume of the SAGE Social Thinkers series provides a concise introduction to the work, life, and influences of Émile Durkheim, one of the informal “holy trinity” of sociology’s founding thinkers, along with Weber and Marx. The author shows that Durkheim’s perspective is arguably the most properly sociological of the three. He thought through the nature of society, culture, and the complex relationship of the individual to the collective in a manner more concentrated and thorough than any of his contemporaries during the period when sociology was emerging as a discipline.

Chapter 1. David Emile Durkheim, Life and Times
Chapter 2. Moral Solidarity and the New Social Science: Durkheim's Study of the Individual in Society and Society in the Individual
Chapter 3. Morality, Law, the State and Politics
Chapter 4. Establishing a Social Science
Chapter 5. Education as Social Science and Cultural Politics
Chapter 6. The "Revelation" of Religion
Chapter 7. Unfinished Business: La Morale, the Family, and the War
Chapter 8. Further Readings

An excellent overview to Durkhiem; this text is very strong at highlighting key and difficult elements of Durkheim's work and does so with clarity and ease for students.

Mr Lewis Simpson
Department of Health & Social Studies, Grimsby Institute of HE & FE
January 25, 2015
Key features


  • Examines the complex relationship of Durkheim's life and times, and his thought
  • Shows how many contemporary social problems and issues can be fruitfully examined using Durkheim's work
  • Ideal for use as a self-contained volume or in conjunction with other sociological theory textbooks

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

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