My name is Emile Durkheim and I was the first French academic sociologist. I developed the methodology of combining empirical research with sociological theory. This is a brief introduction on my life, my work and what I brought to the field of sociology. My contributions have affected the social sciences to include; law, economics, linguistics, ethnology, art history, and history (Durkheim, 2006). Philosophy was the ruling social science in my time but through my work the field of sociology was created.
I was born on April 15, 1858 to Moise and Melanie Durkheim (Jones, 1986). My father was a rabbi and my mother was the daughter of a merchant (Jones, 1986). I was born in an era of significant social and political change. I was raised in Epinal, the capital town of Vosges in eastern France. My father, grandfather, and great grandfather were all rabbis. Our family lived very modestly.
I studied Hebrew, the Old Testament and the Talmud in my early years as I had decided early on that I too would become a rabbi (Coser, 2003). I continued with my education at the College d'Epinal and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Letters and Sciences in 1875. I graduated two years earlier than most students (Jones, 1986). Through my education I learned to speak German, English and Italian, this would be helpful to me later in my career. I decided that I wanted to teach instead of pursue being a rabbi.
After leaving Epinal I moved to Paris where I spent most of the rest my years. I met and married Louise Dreyfus in Paris when I was 29. We had one son, Andre, and a daughter, Marie. My wife spent her life devoted to my work and caring for our children and household.
The events that shaped...