Emile Durkheim (1858 - 1917)

Prof. Durkheim, the French thinker, like Spencer, considered societies as such to be important units of sociological analysis. He stressed the importance of studying different types of society comparatively "Comparative Sociology is not a particular branch of sociology; it is sociology itself,"
he maintained.

In Durkheim's theory the ultimate social reality is the group, not the individual. Social life has to be analysed in terms of 'social facts', according to him. Social facts are nothing but collective ways of thinking , feeling and acting which through coming from the individual, "are external" to him and expert an external "constraint" or pressure on him. These social facts are the proper study of sociology and to them all social phenomena should be reduced, he opined. Further, each social fact, he felt, must be released "to a particular social milieu, to a definite type of society".

Durkheim also mentioned various fields of sociological inquiry such as - General Sociology, 'Sociology of Religion, Sociology of Law and Morals, including sub-sections on political organisations, social organisation, marriage and family; The sociology of Crime, Economic Sociology including studies on urban and rural communities; and Sociology of Aesthetics. His major works are: The division of Labour in Society, The rules of Sociological Method, Suicide, The Elementary Forms of Republic Life.


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I loved the career of this man because One of his primary goals was to establish sociology as a recognized academic discipline, a goal in which he succeeded.[1] He formally established it as an academic discipline and, with Karl Marx and Max Weber, I think this is something only a great man can reach.

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