Emile Durkheim Biography
Birthday: April 15, 1858 (Aries)
Born In: Épinal, France
David Émile Durkheim is regarded as the principal architect of modern social science and father of sociology. Born into a family of a long line of rabbis, he broke away from the Jewish tradition and produced many secular works. His first major sociological work, ‘The Division of Labor in Society’, discussed how modern society is held together by a division of labor that makes individuals dependent upon one another. In ‘Rules of the Sociological Method’, he put forward the need for scientific approach in the study of sociology, a revolutionary thought in that period of time. He set up the first European department of sociology and became France's first professor of sociology and also established the journal L'Année Sociologique. His monograph ‘Suicide’, a study of suicide rates in Catholic and Protestant populations, elevated sociology to the status of science. In his ‘The Elementary Forms of Religious Life’, he presented a theory of religion, comparing the social and cultural lives of aboriginal and modern societies. He also expressed his views on individualism, differentiating between egoism and moral individualism. He remained a dominant force in French intellectual life until his death, presenting numerous lectures and published works on a variety of topics, including the sociology of knowledge, morality, religion, law, and education.