Emile Durkheim (1858–1917)

  • Vineeta Sinha


Emile Durkheim established Sociology as a distinct, independent discipline and helped to institutionalize it. He also crafted a methodology appropriate for studying society scientifically. The analysis of capitalist, industrial society that Durkheim advanced was thought-provoking and controversial. Durkheim’s conviction that the emerging modern, industrial society was defined by economic, social, political and moral crises led him to reflect on the fate of the individual under conditions of modernity. At the same time, he saw the promise of modernity. His standing as a ‘founding father’ of the discipline and the canonical status accorded to his writings have both assured longevity and endurance to his theories and texts. Approaching Durkheim in unconventional modes can prompt alternative and novel readings of his theoretical and methodological contributions.


Anomie Positivism Promise of modernity Moral individualism Social change 


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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vineeta Sinha
    • 1
  1. 1.SociologyNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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