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Sociology 2240E
Charles Levine

Emile Durkheim2 main themes in the work of Emile Durkheim1The priority of the social over the individual 2The idea that society can be studied scientificallyApproaches things from the opposite perspective stressing the social dimension of all human phenomenaSociety is made up of social facts that exceed our intuitive understanding and must be investigated through observations and measurements Seen as the father of sociologyDurkheim argued that sociology should be oriented towards empirical research was complicated by his belief that sociology was also threatened by a philosophical school within sociology itself really focused on studying the social world empiricallySocial facts to move away from philosophy and to give sociology a clear identitySocial facts the social structures and cultural norms and values that are external to and coercive of actors Constrain people in all areas of social lifeAre to be treated as things crucial in separating sociology from philosophyMust be studied by acquiring data from outside of our own minds through observations and experimentation Separating sociology from psychology1Social fact is experienced as an external constraint rather than an internal drive2It is general throughout the society and is not attached to any particular individualSocial facts cannot be reduced to individuals but must be studied as their own realitySocial facts are unique and are not reducible to individual consciousness social facts could be explained by reference to individuals would be to reduce sociology to psychologyInstead social facts can be explained only by other social factsSummarized social factsCan be empirically studiedAre external to the individual
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