Emile Durkheim Biography, age, career, net worth, wife, Wikipedia

Emile Durkheim Biography

Emile Durkheim Biography 

Pioneering Sociologist and His Enduring Legacy

Emile Durkheim, a renowned French sociologist, is widely recognized as one of the founding figures of modern sociology. His groundbreaking work in the late 19th and early 20th centuries laid the foundation for the scientific study of society and social phenomena. This article delves into the life and career of Emile Durkheim, shedding light on his early life, academic journey, key contributions, and his lasting impact on the field of sociology.

Early Life and Education

Emile Durkheim was born on April 15, 1858, in Épinal, Lorraine, France. He hailed from a Jewish family with a strong tradition of rabbinical lineage, and his parents hoped he would follow in their religious footsteps. Despite the initial resistance from his family, Emile pursued his passion for learning and education.

After attending a rabbinical school, Durkheim eventually turned his focus towards secular education. In 1879, he entered the prestigious École Normale Supérieure in Paris, where he studied philosophy and social science. During this time, he developed an interest in the emerging field of sociology, and his academic journey began to take shape.

Career and Contributions

Emile Durkheim’s academic career flourished after he completed his studies at École Normale Supérieure. He embarked on a journey to redefine the field of sociology and establish it as a distinct scientific discipline. In 1887, he became the youngest person to hold the position of “Chargé d’enseignement” (Lecturer) in sociology at the University of Bordeaux.

Durkheim’s seminal work, “The Division of Labor in Society” (1893), examined the relationships between individuals and society, focusing on the division of labor and its impact on social cohesion. He argued that social integration was crucial for societal well-being and that anomie, a state of normlessness and social instability, could arise when this cohesion weakened.

Another groundbreaking work by Durkheim was “Suicide” (1897), which explored the social factors influencing suicide rates. Through extensive empirical research, he demonstrated that suicide was not merely an individual act but had deep-rooted social causes.

In 1902, Emile Durkheim assumed the position of Chair of Education and Sociology at the University of Paris, solidifying his status as a prominent figure in the field of sociology. He continued to produce influential works like “The Elementary Forms of Religious Life” (1912), where he examined the role of religion in society and its symbolic significance.

Durkheim’s work emphasized the importance of empirical research and the scientific method in sociology, helping establish it as a legitimate academic discipline. His contributions laid the groundwork for functionalism, a sociological perspective focusing on how societal elements work together to maintain stability and harmony.

Personal Life and Legacy

Emile Durkheim married Louise Dreyfus in 1887, and the couple had two children together. His wife, Louise, was instrumental in supporting his academic endeavors and preserving his legacy after his untimely death.

Tragically, on November 15, 1917, Emile Durkheim passed away in Paris at the age of 59. Although he left the world too soon, his ideas and theories continue to shape the study of sociology to this day.

Durkheim’s intellectual legacy has left an indelible mark on sociology, influencing subsequent generations of sociologists and scholars worldwide. His ideas on social integration, division of labor, and the importance of social facts remain fundamental to the field of sociology.

Net Worth and Wikipedia

As a pioneering sociologist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Emile Durkheim did not accumulate a significant personal net worth in today’s terms. Unlike modern-day celebrities, scholars from that era were not known for amassing substantial wealth through their academic pursuits. Durkheim’s true wealth lies in his scholarly achievements and the enduring impact of his ideas.

As for Wikipedia, you can find a comprehensive page dedicated to Emile Durkheim, detailing his biography, academic contributions, and legacy. It serves as an excellent starting point to learn more about this influential figure and his significant contributions to the field of sociology.


Emile Durkheim’s life and career were marked by a relentless pursuit of knowledge and a determination to elevate sociology to a respected scientific discipline. Through his groundbreaking theories and empirical research, he laid the groundwork for future generations of sociologists to build upon. Today, his work continues to be celebrated for its enduring relevance, making Emile Durkheim a true luminary in the field of sociology.

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