Differences Between Weber And Durkheim

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While ontology, human nature, and epistemology have been studied by various sociologists for many years, this paper will focus on the similarities and differences between Emile Durkheim and Max Weber and their view points. Emile Durkheim’s positivist views of ontology and epistemology dealt a lot with what he meant by society. He differed from Weber in that he felt it was a reality external to individuals while Weber felt it was a product of individual actors. Collective conscious, collective effervescence, and the relationships between people are all a part of Durkheim’s views. Weber was more of an interpretivist and felt actions were very important in his studies. Even with ontology, Weber studied people’s intentions and motives, while Durkheim focused on the structural aspect of society. This paper will study how each sociologist contributed to society with their different viewpoints.
Durkheim and Weber both agreed that religion affects people generally speaking. They each believed religion would forever stay alive; however, Durkheim believed religion was absolutely necessary for society to exist. Weber did not. Weber felt religious beliefs were a reflection of self-interests.
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Durkheim was very concerned with social solidarity and what created it. He felt social institutions thrived off of social solidarity which derived from things like religion. From here comes collective effervescence. Durkheim saw individuals apart from society as concerned only with their desires that, because of human nature, are insatiable. (Allan p 111). Growing up, Durkheim was raised in a religious family. This made him study religion and social solidarity and the human nature of it all further. Durkheim felt religion would ensure social

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