Émile Durkheim  

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"All known religious beliefs, whether simple or complex, present one common characteristic : they presuppose a classification of all the things, real and ideal, of which men think, into two classes or opposed groups, generally designated by two distinct terms which are translated well enough by the words profane and sacred (profane, sacré). This division of the world into two domains, the one containing all that is sacred, the other all that is profane, is the distinctive trait of religious thought. --The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life (1912), tr. Joseph Ward Swain

"Religion is society worshipping itself." --The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Émile Durkheim (April 15, 1858November 15, 1917) was a French sociologist whose contributions were instrumental in the formation of sociology and anthropology. His work and editorship of the first journal of sociology helped establish sociology within the academy as an accepted "science sociale" (social science). During his lifetime, Durkheim gave many lectures, and published numerous sociological studies on subjects such as education, crime, religion, suicide, and many other aspects of society. He is often referred to as "The Father of Sociology". His contemporary relevance is still quite high, being referenced in works on as diverse as midnight movies, sacred-profane dichotomy, subcultural theory and folk taxonomies.

See also

Selected works

Published posthumously:

  • Education and Sociology (1922)
  • Sociology and Philosophy (1924)
  • Moral Education (1925)
  • Socialism (1928)




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Émile Durkheim" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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