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Emile Durheim Essay

6363 words - 25 pages

EMILE DURKHEIM'S SOCIOLOGY AS THE SCIENTIFICSTUDY OF SOCIAL FACTSINTRODUCTIONAny science that is 'born' usually has difficulty maturing. Hardly does it grow free of uncertainties, it is usually vague and precarious of that sector of reality toward which it is oriented; if it devoid of a clearer self-image and a general guiding rule. Such was the case of Sociology, not until Durkheim came up with his splendid classical writings.However, since the inception of Sociology by Auguste Comte (1798-1857), the struggle has being to give Sociology a self-image and a general guiding rule that would make it stand as a field of social science. Over the years, critics have leveled criticisms towards Sociology as a new science which has no direction. They had reproached Sociology for not knowing precisely what, in the first place, its field of concern is. Like we earlier said, no new science can be free of ups and downs. Yet, Sociology as a field of study remained unruffled at all the various criticisms. We should not be in a hurry to forget that criticisms enhance growth after all.Clearly, Auguste Comte had really persevered in studying the French society of his time, and eventually came up with the idea of putting up a science, a field of study that would typically be concern with the social milieu, social institutions, and social organization as it affects man. Comte had assembled other sciences and placed Sociology above them all -"Hierarchy of the Sciences".Comte had also analyzed the domain of Sociology as well as professed the methodology of the field of Sociology to be thus,-observation, verification, experimentation and comparative (historical) methods. In deed, Comte must have exclaimed, "eureka!", for he must have thought that, that was it; Sociology can now stand erect without falling. If that had been the case, apology to no one; Sociology could have crashed, died and buried. But kudos to Emile Durkheim, whose delectable ideas made Sociology what it is today. Though, the likes of Herbert Spencer and Max Weber as well as Karl Marx contributed one way or the other to the development of Sociology, it is emphasized here that Durkheim was the one that clearly demystified the philosophical tenets which Sociology was known for. Suffice it to say that Durkheim brought illumination to Sociology.Basically, Durkheim's Sociology is the Sociology of social facts. The concept of social fact lies at the heart rather is the heart of Durkheims Sociology. Thus, just as it is to understand Talcott Parsons action theory, one must first understand institutionalization; likewise; to comprehend Durkheims Sociology is to understand social facts.Therefore, this paper endeavours to show Durkheims Sociology as the scientific study of social facts. We shall look at Durkheim conception of Sociology, what Durkheim means by social facts, and how he uses social fact in explaining suicide. This work is not a critique of Durkheims Sociology, but we shall no doubt disagree with...

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