Article

Émile Durkheim

Alexander Riley

in Sociology

ISBN: 9780199756384
Published online July 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756384-0014
Émile Durkheim

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David Émile Durkheim was born on 15 April 1858, in Épinal, France, in the region of Lorraine. His influential, conservative Jewish family had lived in the region for several generations. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were rabbis, and there were family expectations that Durkheim, too, would follow that same career path. In 1879, Durkheim entered the École Normale Supérieure, the most prestigious French post-secondary institution and the training ground for most of the country’s intellectual elite. He took the agrégation (French state teaching certificate) in 1882 and assumed his first teaching post at Sens a year later. In 1887, he was taken on as a lecturer at the University of Bordeaux. By the turn of the century, he was widely acclaimed as one of the most important thinkers in France and the leader of the effort to establish sociology as a new scholarly discipline. Before the turn of the century, he had published three of the four major books he wrote during his lifetime and launched the first great journal of sociological research, l’Année Sociologique. In 1902, he was elected as chargé de cours at the Sorbonne, and by 1906 he had been appointed to a chair there. When he died in 1917, during the dark days of the Great War, he had already established a legacy as one of the founding thinkers in sociology.

Article.  10858 words. 

Subjects: Sociology ; Comparative and Historical Sociology ; Economic Sociology ; Gender and Sexuality ; Health, Illness, and Medicine ; Population and Demography ; Race and Ethnicity ; Social Movements and Social Change ; Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility ; Social Theory

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