Émile Durkheim is considered the father of sociology. He was born in 1858 in France and died in 1917. Durkheim was a very influential thinker and did a lot to shape the discipline of sociology as we know it today. He also made significant contributions to the field of anthropology.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at his life and work, and explore some of his most important ideas.
Émile Durkheim – early life and education
Durkheim was raised in a traditional Jewish home. He studied at the University of Paris, where he met and worked with some of the most prominent thinkers of his time. After completing his studies, Durkheim taught high school for a few years. He then moved on and became a professor at the University of Bordeaux. It was during this time that he wrote his most famous works, including The Division of Labour in Society and Suicide.
Career and contribution to Anthropology
In 1897, Durkheim was appointed to the chair of sociology at the University of Paris. He remained there until his death in 1917. Over the course of his career, Durkheim developed a number of key concepts that still play a central role in sociology today. These include the idea of social solidarity, the concept of anomie, and the theory of functionalism.
Durkheim’s work in anthropology was particularly significant. He was one of the first scholars to apply sociological methods to the study of human culture and society. His book The Rules of Sociological Method is still considered a classic in the field. Durkheim’s ideas about how social norms and values shape human behavior continue to be highly influential in anthropology today.
In short, Émile Durkheim was a ground-breaking thinker who made significant contributions to both sociology and anthropology. His work is still studied and debated by scholars around the world.
For Further Reading
- Jane Goodall – a pioneering primatologist
- Marshall Sahlins (1930 – 2021) – Race is a Social Construct
- Saba Mahmood – a strong voice in the anthropology of religion and post-colonialism
- Claude Lévi-Strauss’s Structuralism and its Influence on Anthropological Thought
- Clifford Geertz – the man who pioneered “thick description” in anthropology
- Ruth Benedict: The anthropologist who believed that cultures have personalities
- Michael Taussig – Doctor and Anthropologist
- Bronislaw Malinowski: The Father of Field Research
- Margaret Mead: A Pioneering Anthropologist
- Franz Boas: The Father of American Anthropology
- Émile Durkheim: The Father of Sociology and His Contributions to Anthropology
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