Emile Durkheim 's Sociology And Social Sciences Essay

1966 Words Nov 10th, 2014 8 Pages
Considered the founding father of modern day sociology, Emile Durkheim radicalised the social sciences in the twentieth century.The primary core to his doctrine encompasses the renunciation of a reductionist theory in the study of society and the beginning of social phenomena sui generis. The crux of Durkheim’s sociology lies in social phenomena as “social facts” which are, according to Durkheim, distinctive in character and external to any given individual. These “facts”, in essence, exist and continue to exist throughout generations and are not limited to a singular entity as they are outside the individual. Durkheim asserts that social facts “are invested with a coercive power by virtue of which they exercise control over [individuals]” (Durkheim,1982[1895]:52); through laws and/or customs, social facts impose themselves upon an individual and drive social behavior. It is through these social behaviors that social scientists are able to objectively analyse society through a scientific lense autonomous to biology or psychology. In this, Durkheim aims to solidify sociology and social sciences among the natural sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, physics) and creates an objective scientific structure by which subsequent sociologists should follow. However, not only does his theory discredit individual action and attitudes but the credibility of objectivity surrounding his “social facts” has been heavily debated. Furthermore, the application of scientific method (primarily in…

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