Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Program

Sociology

Date of Award

5-2009

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Paul Kamolnick

Committee Members

Michael Allen, Scott H. Beck

Abstract

The famed French classical social theorist Emile Durkheim's academic reputation is based largely on his critical rejection of the British utilitarian tradition and specifically the writings of the classical British sociologist Herbert Spencer. In this thesis I critically evaluate Durkheim's critique of Herbert Spencer's methodological individualism. It is found that while select Durkheimian claims merit continued allegiance, his broader critique of Spencer's methodological individualism must be viewed as logically and empirically deficient. In conclusion I examine the implications for Durkheimian sociology and the broader social theoretical enterprise directed at analyzing and conceptualizing the nature of sociality and the social bond.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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