Moral Education: A Study in the Theory and Application of the Sociology of Education

Moral Education: A Study in the Theory and Application of the Sociology of Education

Moral Education: A Study in the Theory and Application of the Sociology of Education

Moral Education: A Study in the Theory and Application of the Sociology of Education

Excerpt

There is no point in repeating details of Durkheim's life (1858-1917) that are recounted elsewhere. It may be useful to isolate the major themes in Moral Education, underlining the points that bear on current concerns in education and sociology.

In a generation suffering post-Victorian recoil and invoking the wrath of Viennese gods upon the superego, morality is a niggling word implying an obsequious and unpalatable primness. For Durkheim, however, morality was crucial, from both a theorical and a practical point of view. Theoretically, any enduring system of human relationships must be seen as intrinsically moral, involving obligatory elements that coerce conduct and that, since they represent shared conceptions of the good, provide the basis for social unity. From a practical standpoint, a sound secular morality was for Durkheim the condition of national health--or even survival.

"'Our first obligation at this time is to create a moral consensus.' Thus Durkheim concludes his thesis which began with the assertion 'that science can help us determine the way in which we ought to orient our conduct.'" The . . .

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