Emile Durkheim is the sociologist who raised to pre-eminence the question of what makes society possible. While he placed great stress on the necessity of normative consensus in maintaining order and stability, he did not see the solution to the problem as an exclusively moral one. He argued that a shared morality could not be imposed upon a society suffering from inequalities: a system of distributive justice had to be put in place before consensus could be guaranteed. Durkheim's sociology is a brilliant exploration of the social forces undermining social order which need to be countered if anarchy is to be kept at bay. His analyses of the division of labour, crime and punishment, religion and ritual, and the modern state are offered in the conviction that sociology seeks to understand institutions in order that they can be made more responsive to modern needs. Durkheim's motto could have been: "The philosophers have sought to change the world. The need, however, is first to understand it."
- Paperback | 99 pages
- 127 x 190.5 x 10.16mm | 136.08g
- 01 Jan 1993
- Oxford University Press
- Oxford Paperbacks
- Oxford, United Kingdom
About Frank Parkin
About the Author Frank Parkin is the author of numerous books on social issues including Middle Class Radicalism, Class Inequality and Political Order, Marxism and Class Theory: A Bourgeois Critique, and Max Weber. He has also written novel, The Mind and Body Shop.
Table of contents
Background; Sociology as Science; Law and Order; The Social Meaning of Religion; Capitalism, Socialism, and Distributive Justice; State and Civil Society.