Synopses & Reviews
First published in 1895: Emile Durkheim’s masterful work on the nature and scope of sociology—now with a new introduction and improved translation by leading scholar Steven Lukes.
The Rules of the Sociological Method is among the most important contributions to the field of sociology, still debated among scholars today. Through letters, arguments, and commentaries on significant debates, Durkheim confronted critics, clarified his own position, and defended the objective scientific method he applied to his study of humans. This updated edition offers an introduction and extra notes as well as a new translation to improve the clarity and accessibility of this essential work.
In the introduction, Steven Lukes, author of the definitive biography Emile Durkheim: His Life and Work, spells out Durkheim’s intentions, shows the limits of Durkheim’s view of sociology, and presents its political background and significance. Making use of the various texts in this volume and Durkheim’s later work, Lukes discusses how Durkheim’s methodology was modified or disregarded in practice—and how it is still relevant today.
With substantial notes on context, this user-friendly edition will greatly ease the task of students and scholars working with Durkheim’s method—a view that has been a focal point of sociology since its original publication. The Rules of the Sociological Method will engage a new generation of readers with Durkheim’s rich contribution to the field.
About the Author
David Émile Durkheim (1858-1917) was a French sociologist. He formally established the academic discipline and, with Karl Marx and Max Weber, is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science and father of sociology. Much of Durkheim's work was concerned with how societies could maintain their integrity and coherence in modernity; an era in which traditional social and religious ties are no longer assumed, and in which new social institutions have come into being. His first major sociological work was The Division of Labor in Society (1893). In 1895, he published his Rules of the Sociological Method and set up the first European department of sociology, becoming France's first professor of sociology. In 1898, he established the journal L'Année Sociologique.