The Division of Labor in Society

The Division of Labor in Society

The Division of Labor in Society

The Division of Labor in Society

Excerpt

The need for an English translation of Emile Durkheim De la division du travail social has long been felt. The first great work of a man who controlled French social thought for almost a quarter of a century and whose influence is now waxing rather than waning, it remains today, both from an historical and contextual standpoint, a book that must be read by all who profess some knowledge of social thought and some interest in social problems. First published in 1893 with the subtitle, Étude sur l'Organisation des Société Supérieures, and a dedication "A Mon Cher Maître,M. Emile Boutroux, Hommage respectueux et reconnaissant," it has gone through five editions, the last having been brought out in 1926, nine years after Durkheim's death. The second edition appeared in 1902 with the now classic preface, Quelques Remarques sur les Groupements professionnels. The third edition appeared in 1907, the fourth in 1911.

In the second and subsequent editions Durkheim omitted many pages from the long introduction which he wrote for the first. I feel, however, that this introduction is fundamental to an understanding of Durkheim's position and valuable in itself, besides being indispensable to an appreciation of a study which Durkheim had again turned to in his last years and which he considered his crowning work, the science of ethics. Consequently, I have appended it at the end of this volume. Nowhere else, except in the first French edition (now out of print), can this, Durkheim's early development of the idea of a science of ethics, be found. Hence I consider it a great boon to sociological scholarship that I was enabled to have this first edition at my disposal, and present it to an English- speaking audience.

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