Major Works by Emile Durkheim

The Division of Labor in Society 1997 [1893], New York: Free Press.

From the Publisher:

In a momentous challenge to the theories of Adam Smith and Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim presented a visionary reconception of the social structures of production and allocation that are the cornerstones of capitalism.  In the Division of Labor in Society originally published in French in 1893, Durkheim asked how individuality can be maintained within the capitalist system.  The author argued that the class conflict is not inherent in capitalist society, as Marx contended, but that the unfettered growth of state power would lead to the extinction of individuality.  Only in a free society that promotes voluntary bonds between its members, Durkheim suggests, can individuality prosper.

Table of Contents:

Translator's Note
Introduction (by Lewis Coser)
Preface to the First Edition
Preface to the Second Edition

I: The Method of Determining this Function
II: Mechanical Solidarity, or Solidarity by Similarities
III: Solidarity Arising from the Division of Labour, or Organic Solidarity
IV: Another Proof of the Preceding Theory
V: The Increasing Preponderance of Organic Solidarity and its Consequences
VI: The Increasing Preponderance of Organic Solidarity and its Consequences (cont.)
VII: Organic Solidarity and Contractual Solidarity

I: The Progress of the Division of Labour and of Happiness
II: The Causes
III: Secondary Factors
IV: Secondary Factors (cont.)
V: Consequences of the Foregoing

I: The Anomic Division of Labour
II: The Forced Division of Labour
III: Another Abnormal Form


The Rules of Sociological Method, 1964 [1895], Edited by George E.G. Catlin, Translated by Sarah A. Solovay & John H. Mueller.  New York: The Free Press of Glenco

From the Publisher:

One of Emile Durkheim's chief works, this book raises two controversial issues of cardinal importance for all sciences directly concerned with human relationships--whether economic, political, or genetic.

The first issue spotlighted is the genuine distinction between the natural and the social sciences.  Durkheim reveals that the methods used in the natural sciences are, nevertheless, valid within the social field.  Secondly, he show how attempts are being made to absorb the social sciences into an enlarged psychology.  Against this tendency Durkheim points out that social phenomena, "far from being the product of the individual's own ideas or will, opinion or caprice...have a constraining influence upon the individual and even upon the aggregate of these individuals."

The Rules of Sociological Method remains not only a landmark in the history of the social sciences, but also is a dependable guide for the student and the professional sociologist.

Table of Contents:

Translators' Note
Introduction to the Translation
Author's Preface to the First Edition
Author's Preface to the Second Edition
Author's Introduction
  1. What Is a Social Fact?
  2. Rules for the Observation of Social Facts
  3. Rules for Distinguishing Between the Normal and  the Pathological
  4. Rules for the Classification of Social Types
  5. Rules for the Explanation of Social Facts
  6. Rules Relative to Establishing Sociological Proofs

Suicide: A Study in Sociology, 1951 [1897], Translated by John A. Spaulding & George Simpson, New York: The Free Press of Glenco.

From the Publisher:

Emile Durkheim's Suicide addresses the phenomenon of suicide and its social causes.  Written by one of the world's most influential sociologists, this classic argues that suicide primarily results from a lack of integration of the individual into society.  Suicide provides readers with an understanding of the impetus for suicide and its psychological impact on the victim, family, and society.

"Even for the psychoanalytically oriented reader this book holds more than historical interest.  One cannot help being impressed by the wealth of knowledge and the perspicacity revealed in it, there certainly have been few more compact presentations of socio-psychological problems....Psychoanalysts no less than sociologists will find the study of Durkheim's book instructive and rewarding.  The editor and translators are to be commended for making the work available in an excellent and remarkably lucid translation."
--Psychoanalytic Quarterly

Table of Contents:

Editor's Preface
Editor's Introduction

Book One: Extra-Social Factors

  1. Suicide and Psychopathic States
  2. Suicide and Normal Psychological States-- Race, Heredity
  3. Suicide and Cosmic Factors
  4. Imitation
Book Two: Social Causes and Social Types
  1. How to Determine Social Causes and Social Types
  2. Egoistic Suicide
  3. Egoistic Suicide (continued)
  4. Altruistic Suicide
  5. Anomic Suicide
  6. Individual Forms of the Different Types of Suicide
Book Three: General Nature of Suicide as a Social Phenomenon
  1. The Social Element of Suicide
  2. Relations of Suicide with Other Social Phenomena
  3. Practical Consequences

The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, 1965, [1912], Translated by Joseph Ward Swain, New York: The Free Press.

From the Publisher:

A problem that has aroused the interest of philosophers in all ages--a problem of interest to all humanity--concerns the definition of the origin and nature of religion.

In this classic study of primitive religion, Emile Durkheim, one of the founders of modern sociology, examines religion in society in terms of animism, naturism, totemism, myth, and ritual.  Thus he takes up again the question of the origin of religion, which for him means discerning the everpresent elements that underlie the essential forms of religious thought and practice.

Durkheim's choice of archaic religion as a frame of reference for the analysis and explanation of all religion was not irrelevant.  Rather, it seemed to him the one approach best adapted, not only to ultimate understanding of the religious nature of man, but also to illuminating an essential and permanent aspect of humanity.

The author concludes that religion, philosophy, and morals can be understood only as products of the social condition of man: that the source of religion and morality is in the collective mind of society and not inherent in the isolated minds of individuals.

His methods and conclusions must be grasped by anyone seeking understanding of the bases of religion and society.

Table of Contents:

Introduction/Religious Sociology and the Theory of Knowledge

Book 1/Preliminary Questions
1  Definition of Religious Phenomena and of Religion
2  Leading Conceptions of the Elementary Religion
3  Leading Conceptions (continued)
4  Totemism as an Elementary Religion

Book 2/ The Elementary Beliefs
1  Totemic Beliefs
2  Totemic Beliefs (continued)
3  Totemic Beliefs (continued)
4  Totemic Beliefs (end)
5  Origins of these Beliefs
6  Origins of these Beliefs (continued)
7  Origins of these Beliefs (end)
8  The Idea of the Soul
9  The Idea of Spirits and Gods

Book 3/The Principal Ritual Attitudes
1  The Negative Cult and its Functions
2  The Positive Cult
3  The Positive Cult (continued)
4  The Positive Cult (continued)
5  Piacular Rites and the Ambiguity of the Notions of Sacredness


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