Emile Durkheim (1858-1917)

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  • The founder of "empirical, positivist" research in sociology
  • Wrote "The Rules of Sociological Method" (1895)

Historical Context

  • Technological progress
  • Industrial revolution
  • Confidence in the promise of science

Main Ideas

  • Sociology should be modelled after the natural sciences
  • Knowledge should be based on empirical observation of "social facts"- Ocurring events or phenomena involving human beings which are observable and measurable
  • Social facts are used to create general laws about the world 
  • Social facts can include roles, values, laws,


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