Durkheim, Emile (1858–1917)
Born in Epinal near Strasbourg, Durkheim attended the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, taking his agregation in 1882. His first important academic appointment was as Professor of Sociology and Education at Bordeaux in 1887. The Bordeaux appointment marked the first sociology professorship in France. In 1902 Durkheim was appointed as Professor of Sociology (and Education), at the Sorbonne where he remained until his death in 1917. Of Durkheim’s four major works, The Division of Labour (1893), The Rules of Sociological Method (1895), Suicide: A Study in Sociology (1897) and The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912), the first three were written while he was at Bordeaux. At the Sorbonne, Durkheim devoted considerable effort towards the establishment of sociology as a professional discipline. He founded a journal, L’année sociologique, and was active in supervision of younger scholars, most notably Granet, Mauss, and Halbwachs.