Sociology and Emile Durkheim

Sociology and Emile Durkheim

Illumination Mile Druthers and Max Weber are founding fathers of sociology and outstanding sociologists who made great contributions to the development of sociology and progress of human beings. Previous studies have been done about the theories and methods of Druthers and Weber, and their works have also been studied for many times from different viewpoints, such as the nature of human and social world, their mutual unawareness of each other and so on.

However, few studies have been done to compare and contrast heir thoughts and methodologies on social behavior. This essay examines Druthers’ and Weeper’s theories and methods regarding social behavior and discusses the similarities and differences between them. In the first part of this essay, Deuterium’s theory of social behavior-social facts, which is independently of individuals and have coercive power-will be presented and then the method he used-statistics and comparison–will be discussed.

The second part of this work will analyze Weeper’s theory of social behavior-social action, action which is directed to another human beings-and then the teeth-persistent, which involves the interpretive understanding of social action-and tool-Ideal Types, imagined by scientist to compare social phenomena-will be presented clearly.

Further more, I will move on to the major part of this essay, in this part, similarities such as that they both use comparison in their research, and difference between Deuterium’s and Weeper’s theories and methods on social behavior such as their attitudes towards individuals, will be proposed from different aspects and perspectives respectively. 2. Mile Deuterium’s theory and method regarding social behavior Mile Druthers (1858-1917) is a French sociologist and one of the key thinkers of early positivism.

Positivism is an epistemological approach , Which applies the scientific method to the study of social world. Mile Druthers, with Karl Marx and Max Weber, is regarded as the principal architect of modern social science and father of sociology. His theory concerned with social behavior is the concept of Social Facts, which is presented clearly in his masterpiece On Suicide and The Rules of Sociological Method (Moonshine, 1994, P. 90). When studying suicide rates, he applied scientific method by collecting mass of autistics, which is objective and empirical. 2. Theory: Social Facts A social fact is every way Of acting fixed or not, capable Of exercising on the individual and external constraint; or again, every way of acting which is general throughout a given society, while at the same time existing in its own right independent of its individual manifestations. Mile Druthers, The Rules of Sociological Method (Delaney and Stardom, 2003, P. 27) According to Druthers, social facts are social structures, such as institutions, traditions, beliefs and patterns of behavior, that exist independently of the individual Benton and Craig, 2001 , PEP).

In another word, social facts are the regular ways of doing something, and the rules individuals follow in society. For example, each individual is born into an already existing society in which the institutions and practices are already in existence (Benton and Craig, 2001, P. 25). Therefore these structures exert a ‘coercive power’ over us-?we are forced to follow the established rules and learn to fit into the dominant patterns of behaviors. For instance, each of us have to communicate with others and learn basic skills if we participate in our society. Obviously social acts can control social behaviors.

For example, couple who get divorced are not against rules of law, but against moral beliefs, in another word, rules of society. In order to prove the existence of social facts and figure out whether human behavior is caused by social structures, Druthers did research on suicide, which will be presented in the next part. 2. Methods: Statistics and Comparison Deuterium’s methods concerned with social behavior were presented clearly in his work On Suicide. Druthers made attempts to figure out whether human behavior was caused by social structures instead of mental state Benton and Craig, 2001 , P. 5). He collected a vast array of statistics on suicide rates and he showed that suicide rates were not caused by non-social factors, such as race, genetics, mental disorder, climate, season and so on. He went on to argue that suicide rate were caused by social factors such as religious faith, marital status, income and employment and so on. As suicide rates in different countries and different categories Of people were different, Druthers compared them and showed that there was a remarkable constancy Protestants had higher suicide rates than Catholics, and Catholics Geiger rates than Jews.

By collecting statistics and comparing suicide rates in different countries, Druthers confirmed the existence of social facts. 3. Max Weeper’s theory and method regarding social behavior Max Weber (1864-1920) is a German sociologist and one of the key thinkers of Interpretative. Interpretive approaches see the ‘real world’ as being socially constructed and we interpret the world around us. Max Weber, with Karl Marx and Mile Druthers, is regarded as one of the three founding fathers of sociology. His theory concerned with social behavior is Social Action.

In the recess of studying social action, Weber used Persistent as a method and used Ideal Types as a tool. 3. 1 Theory: Social Action Max Weeper’s theory about social behavior is social action. The concept of social action was primarily developed by Weber, which was used to observe the way human behaviors relate to cause and effect in sociology because he believed that social behaviors could have causal explanation and explanations would be linked to the meanings we attach to our behaviors and meanings from our values and beliefs (Cartridge and Schwartz, 1 973, P-342). Weber distinguishes four types of social actions (Benton and Craig, 2001 ,

P. 77) The first type is traditional action, which we carry out because we have got used to doing it. The second type is effectual action, which is based on emotion. This action is on the boundary line of the rational. The third type is rational actions, which is a feature of human beings, and it can be divided into rational consideration actions and rational orientation actions. The fourth type is practical action, that we take everyday to achieve specific goals (Benton and Craig, 2001 p . 77). 3. 2 Method: Persistent The specific methodology Of social action is interpretive understanding.

Weber used the German word persistent to describe interpretive understanding of social action. In another word, persistent involves an understanding of the thing someone is thinking, which needs an understanding of the culture that person lives in (Benton and Craig, 2001, P. 79). Weber also divides persistent into two types: observational and explanatory. Observational understanding is simply to describe what someone is doing while explanatory understanding is to understand the reason that someone is doing something rationally. In Weeper’s opinion, the world itself does not have any meaning (Moonshine, 1994, P. ). However, it could be given meaning. Here Weber faces with the objective-?subjective problem. Study of social action by interpretive means must be based on the understanding and meaning individuals attach to their actions, so objectivity can not be reached in Weeper’s study. One of the tools Weber used to study the objects of analysis is Ideal Types. Ideal type is an abstract generalization of the common features of complex social phenomena, it is a creation of a social scientist. ‘ Ideal’ here does not mean ‘desirable’, but means an idea in a social scientists head, in another word, it is not real.

But it can be used to compare and contrast social phenomena. Weber used it to study Capitalism (Moonshine, 1994, p. 91) 4. Similarities and Differences between Mile Druthers and Max Weber’ theories and methods Mile Druthers and Max Weber are both outstanding sociologists and made great contributions to the development of sociology. Comparing and contrasting Mile Druthers and Max Weber is essential because the theories and methods of them have some similarities and difference. The comparison between them can also improve our understanding of social science and sociology. 4. 1 Similarities

Mile Druthers and Max Weber are considered as founding fathers of sociology. Although they are not aware of each other, they still have some similarities. When doing research, both Druthers and Weber apply comparison as an efficient way to study sociological phenomena (Bottomed, 1981, P. 904). For Druthers, when studying social facts through analyzing suicide rates, he collected statistics from different countries and different religions. By comparing the statistics he found remarkable constancy: some countries have higher or lower suicide rates than other countries and so do suicide rates in different religions.

For Weber, he used Ideal types to study capitalism and compare other social phenomena( Tirana, 1966, P. 331). Comparison is the same method used by both Druthers and Weber. Moreover, their studies are both related with religions. In Druthers work On Suicide, he regarded suicide as a social fact and studied the different suicide rates between Protestants and Catholics, claiming that lower suicide rates in Catholics resulted of stronger social control. For Druthers, Catholic community has stronger integration than that of Protestant community. For

Weber, when studied Capitalism through Ideal Types, he interacted capitalism with Protestantism together in his famous work The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. He also put forward that religious ideas exert a significant influence on economy (Delaney, 2005, P. 48). Overall, Both Druthers and Weber are influenced by the present religious ideas and applied them to studying social behaviors. Another similarity between Druthers and Weber is that they both use empirical procedures to verify their hypothesis, which means that both of them place emphasis on cause-?effect link (Morrison, 990, P. 6). For Weber, he argued that social behavior could have causal explanations while for Druthers, he mentioned the establishment of causality. 4. 2 Differences In previous sections I explained the theories and methods of Mile Druthers and Max Weber regarding social behavior. Obviously there are many differences between them. First of all, Mile Druthers and Max Weber are key thinkers of different perspectives of epistemology. Druthers used positivism while Weber used interpretative when studying social behaviors. For Druthers, he was influenced by Augusta Comet who developed positivism a lot.

As mentioned before, positivism is concerned with applying scientific methods to studying the social world and it focuses on empirical observations, which is the reason why the method Druthers used was more objective and scientific. Weber, as one of the key thinkers of interpretative, by this mean, human can only know the subjective meaning we construct of and attach to the social world. The biggest difference between them is that Weber focuses on individual and individual actions while Druthers concentrates on the society. For Weber, the social world is metaphysically meaningless and chaotic.

It could be meaningful only through individual social actions. Therefore, individuals play a role of vital importance in Webber theory (Radicand and Caret, 1 983, p. 745). However, his theory does not show the discussion of individual freedom as a subject of inquiry. Weber claims that we cannot figure out significant and meaningful things through science (Delaney, 2005, P. 49). What is meaningful for us is determined by society. Nonetheless, the society could be examined and understood through understanding the meaning that individuals attach to it.

From the view of Druthers, the social oral is not as Weber describes: chaotic and meaningless. There are laws and regulations, which are called social facts that exist independently of individuals, control the society. Moreover, these laws can en discovered by social science (Stroke, 1992, P. 118). Contrasted with Weber, Druthers is not concerned with individual freedom because in his theory, individuals play no role in society and society is independent of individuals and performs its own coercive power by existing orders and regulations.

For Weber, it is individuals who attach meanings to the world by free social actions. For Druthers, the social world has its own existing rules and orders independent of individuals, they can not be changed and do not need to be given meaning by individuals because it already have meanings. Another difference between Druthers and Weber is objectivity-subjectivity. For Druthers, observation must be impartial and impersonal (Moonshine, 1 994, P. 92), in other words, it must be as objective as possible, even though totally-objectivity cannot be achieved.

He also claims from the perspective of realism that a social fact neither cannot be studied isolated from other social facts, nor based on the individual who tidies it. For Weber he holds different opinion that it is individual who gives meanings to the world, which could be more subjective because in Webber view from the perspective of interpretative, humans construct knowledge through subjective knowledge. To summarize, when studying social world and behavior, Druthers is more objective while Weber is more subjective although Weber also wants to be objective. 5.

Conclusion In conclusion, even though Mile Druthers and Max Weber are not aware of each other, their theories and methods regarding social behavior have some similarities and differences. Accordingly, this essay has discussed Deuterium’s theory-social facts, which exist independently of individual and have coercive power over individuals-and method-statistics and comparison, which is presented in On Suicide clearly. Then Weeper’s theory Of social action, which is directed to another human being, and his method of persistent and tool-Ideal types-have been discussed.

Finally, similarities and differences between them have been proposed from different views. As the above essay has shown, there are many similarities and differences between Deuterium’s and Webber thoughts and methodologies about social behavior from different respective of sociology, such as positivism and interpretative, objective- subjective problem, realism and idealism and so on. However, this essay only discussed a few similarities, such as their attitudes towards religions when studying social world, and differences, such as their intentions.

These discussions only presented the similarities and differences generally without deep research and detailed supports. Moreover, the presentation of the theories and methods might not be efficient and many comparisons are not done in this essay. More research needs to be done not only comparing and intonating Deuterium’s and Weeper’s theories and methods on social behavior, but also on other aspects of sociology.

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