Emile Durkheim was the first to hold a university chair in sociology, and his ideas remain of fundamental importance to all who want to understand the origins of the subject. He adopted the image of society as an organism, each part of which has a particular role to play in ensuring the well-being of the whole body. His ideas include an analysis of the social origins of religion, in particular the suggestion that any religious worship is 'worship of society'; its emphasis on what he called 'anomie' as the root of dispute and unrest in the life of an individual and society; and his original and important study of suicide as a social phenomenon. His influence is seen in fields as diverse as criminology on the one hand and literary criticism on the other.
Y Meddwl Modern: Durkheim – Huw Morris Jones
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