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Durkheim & the Structure & Function of Society -- Research Starters Sociology

By: Vejar, Cynthia;

2009 / EBSCO


This paper highlights the scholarly work of the renowned French sociologist, Émile Durkheim. An introductory section touches upon Durkheim's sociological motivations for integrating religiosity into his theories. An analysis of his hallmark creation surrounding the Division of Labour, including the differentiation between mechanical solidarity found in primitive cultures, compared with the organic solidarity of advanced civilization is provided. Deviance, which according to Durkheim is a necessary and functional component of society, is introduced, followed by a discriminating account of suicide. According to Durkheim, there are four types of suicide (i.e., egoistic, altruistic, anomie, and fatalistic), each of which is described, along with his somewhat hopeful and convoluted views on educational advancement. Finally, concluding thoughts which include contemporary implications related to Durkheim's theories are presented.