Durkheim : A Critical Introduction

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Emile Durkheim, along with Karl Marx and Max Weber, is one of the three 'founding fathers of sociology'. This is the first book to situate his sociology in the context of his republican politics, freeing his ideas from more conventional studies and allowing the reader to see his ideas afresh.

This critical introduction argues that Durkheim's defence of Republican France in the 1890s had a considerable influence on his sociology, which cannot be fully understood when removed from its historical and political context. His dismissal of economic factors in suicide rates, the influence of his anti-feminist position on his findings on marriage rates, and the idealism behind his claim that religion is the key determinant in shaping society are all discussed.

Through analysing his writings, including The Division of Labour in Society, Suicide and The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, this book provides a fascinating, critical counterpoint to the existing works on this key figure of sociology.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 22.86mm | 381.02g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745337414
  • 9780745337418

Table of contents

1. Durkheim De-Classified

2. Durkheim's French Republicanism

3. The Division of Labour

4. Durkheim's Methods of Scientific Inquiry

5. Suicide

6. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life

7. Educating Republican Citizens

8. Socialism and Saint Simon

9. The Limits to Durkheim's Republican Sociology
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Review quote

'An important contribution to a glaring deficit in the sociological literature' -- Steven Loyal, Senior Lecturer, School of Sociology, University College Dublin
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About Brian O'Boyle

Kieran Allen is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at University College Dublin. His books include 1916: Ireland's Revolutionary Tradition (Pluto, 2016), Durkheim (Pluto, 2017), Marx (Pluto, 2017) and Weber (Pluto, 2017). Brian O'Boyle is a Lecturer in Economics at St Angela College, National University of Ireland, Galway. He has published in the areas of the philosophy of science, the history of economics and the global economy. He is the co-author of Durkheim (Pluto, 2017) and a contributor to Austerity Ireland (Pluto, 2013).
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