Course:SOCI1110/Emile Durkheim

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Emile Durkheim

Emile Durkheim


David Emile Durkheim was born in Epinal, France, on April 15th, 1858. He was born into Jewish heritage; his father, Moise, was a rabbi, as was his grandfather and great-grandfather. His mother, Melanie, was the daughter of a merchant. Durkheim spent several years in a rabbinical school, as he was expected to follow in the footsteps of the men in his family before him. However, he was uninterested in becoming a rabbi, and was more inclined to look at the scientific side of things than religious. He moved to Paris, and severed his ties with Judaism completely. He was accepted into the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris in 1879 after his third attempt at passing the entrance examination. In 1882, and until 1887, he taught philosophy at several different schools before finally securing a position teaching sociology at the University of Bordeaux. He married Louise Dreyfus that same year, and they would go on to have two children together, son Andre and daughter Marie. Unfortunately, Andre met his end during World War I, in April of 1916, which tore Durkheim apart. Durkheim died a year and a half later following a stroke he had had several months prior to his passing, on November 15, 1917.