Durkheim understood life sciences as divided into three branches: biology, which is interested in the body, psychology, which deals with the personality, and sociology, which deals with collective representations. In The Rules of Sociological Method, Durkheim attempted to provide methodological rules and guidance for establishing social facts and how they are related to one another. His discussions of methodology represent an early and formative statement about issues that still challenge social science, regarding establishing correlation and causation and the difficulty of assessing the social world objectively without applying subjective judgments to the study. Durkheim established that the task of sociology is to investigate and examine the sentiments and values of society rather than asserting what is right or correct.
00:00 - Chapter 1. Review of Final Test Questions
24:15 - Chapter 2. ''The Rules of Sociological Method'': Major Themes
25:26 - Chapter 3. When is a ''Fact'' Social?
34:42 - Chapter 4. Social Facts Observed through Rigorous Discipline
44:15 - Chapter 5. Distinctions between Normal and Pathological
46:47 - Chapter 6. The Question of Causality
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Fall 2009.
This course provides an overview of major works of social thought from the beginning of the modern era through the 1920s. Attention is paid to social and intellectual contexts, conceptual frameworks and methods, and contributions to contemporary social analysis. Writers include Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Adam Smith, Marx, Weber, and Durkheim. This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 50 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2009.
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