Emile Durkheim, 1858-1917: A Collection of Essays, with Translations and a Bibliography

By Emile Durkheim; Kurt H. Wolff | Go to book overview

DURKHEIM: THE MAN, HIS TIME, AND HIS INTELLECTUAL BACKGROUND

HENRI PEYRE

Baudelaire once remarked that a great man is never an aerolite. The greatest of French sociologists, whose thought dominates sociology in France to this day, knew, even when-- if not chiefly when--he was taken to task, as he was by Georges Gurvitch and by Jules Monnerot, that he had had several precursors in his own country and that he was a link in a long and glorious chain. Durkheim never ceased striving for objectivity not even in the early years of the First World War, when he placed himself at the service of his country. He pursued truth, his own truth, sine ira et studio. Still, he could not divorce himself from his own time and place. He was profoundly concerned with the spiritual welfare of his country, eager to broaden the training of its ruling classes, anxious for moral, even more than for political, reforms. He was too independent a thinker ever to be molded by his environment; but he was too generous to disregard all that he owed to his background, to his education, to his country, and to his predecessors.

Every country is a land of contrasts. When Durkheim was born, in the France of the Second Empire, conflicting currents coexisted. In the provinces, the farmers still lived very much as they had for the previous ten centuries. There were more artisans than industrial workmen, and among the latter poverty prevailed, along with a constant fear of unemployment, disease, and accidents against which no insurance was provided. The railways, built mostly after 1848, were slowly shaking the countryside out of its lethargy: sugar, soap, candles, and matches came into use in daily life; coal was provided for fuel; gas served for lighting. Cotton goods became available at lower prices, and the level of comfort in housing, clothing, and especially in the quantity and the quality of food rose markedly around 1850-70, at least for the middle classes. In Paris, big department stores opened, and money became plentiful, both in savings banks and for speculating and lending purposes. The

-3-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Emile Durkheim, 1858-1917: A Collection of Essays, with Translations and a Bibliography
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 466

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.