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Lecture 2

3A03 Lecture 1 & 2.docx

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Cyril Levitt

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Fox 1 Lecture 2SOCIOL 3A03Wednesday September 17 2014The Elementary Forms of Religious LifeDurkheimUniversity of Bordeux 3 important works 1The division of labour in society social solidarity2The rules of the sociological method methods and approach to understanding of society based on theoretical premises3Suicide narrowly focuses on suicideIn these 3 books tried he to establish sociology as a discipline at the universityThere were no professional sociologists before Durkheim Comte parent of sociology but in fact he was a philosopher stDurkheim was 1 to hold a professional chair in sociology at BordeuxDefended sociology as something unique that couldnt be served by other sciences Durkheims conception of sociology sociology is the study of social facts Treats social facts as things which arent reducible to something more simple or psychological biological factsintegral in their own rightcould only be studied from the view of societySociety was an integral whole nothing other than the sum of its partsfor Durkheim not the case there was something different about that wholeit was greater than the sum of its partsSocial facts are not reducible to history biology and psychology Durkheim is one of the last representatives of evolutionism He is interested in the essence of religion Religions are complex with a history and hide what is really elementary in religious lifeRejects looking at contemporary religious phenomena because we will never get to the elementary forms of religious life and look at societies that are not complex Isolate elementary forms of religious life and can make sense of our contemporary religionsHuman beings are at their very core are religiouscant get away from it The BookIntroPassage in intro There are no religions that are false all are true All fulfill given conditions of human existence though in different wayscontradict one another so how can they be true Not true in the way their believers believe them to be trueevery human society has a religious expressionMetaphorical an symbolic form of religion the nature of each societyDurkheim equates society with god
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