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Emile Durkheim 1858-1917 In the nineteenth century as an attempt to understand the massive social and economic changes that had been weeping across Western Europe in the seventeenth eighteen and nineteenth centuries sociology was developed as an autonomous subject separate from philosophy and economics With theories sociology continues profoundly influence the way to explain why social phenomena have the characteristics they have provides ideas for an analysis of complex social processes and aids in the construction of models of how social structures and social systems operate According to Professor Percy Cohen Durkheim was committed to these aims and along with Comte Marx and Weber is considered as the founding father of sociology With his ideas of moral force and social facts Durkheims work is an important antidote to some of evolutionary theorist such as Spencer as well as had a certain influence on development of Structural-functionalism by Parsons Human nature is driven by egoism such as desire passion greed selfishness which is harmful to oneself and to the society Durkheim said that unsaturated desire can never be fulfilled therefore a strong moral system is needed to suppress and control egoism and to provide guideline for their behavior When such a system was achieved people can live together and society acts as a moral entity or a moral force that constrains individuals He also believed that morality was the one supplied not by God or the supernature but society itself and called this morality collective conscience or what so-called culture norms values These are the source of social solidarity and lead to the balance equilibrium consensus in society In his famous work the Elementary Form of Religious Life he used the religious beliefs and practices of the aboriginal peoples of Australia to illustrate the influence of moral force with the belief that man is only a moral being because he lives in society The focus on moral force makes Durkheim an idealist One
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