Weber and Durkheim

A Methodological Comparison

By Henrik Jensen

© 2012 – Routledge

124 pages

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pub: 2012-05-28
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About the Book

Weber and Durkheim: A methodological comparison is a systematic, comparative analysis of the methodologies of Max Weber and Émile Durkheim. Jensen shows how Weber and Durkheim analyse Protestants and Catholics in practice in The Protestant Ethic and Suicide, respectively. The very different ways that Weber and Durkheim carry out their analyses are then used to describe, analyse and contrast their methodological principles and points of view, raising fundamental questions in sociological and social science analysis, such as:

  • What constitutes the object of sociology?
  • How are concepts developed?
  • What status can be attributed to laws?
  • Which possibilities – and limitations – do we have for producing scientific insight into society?
  • What are we to think of the relationship between ‘Is’ and ‘Ought’ – and how can social science deal with values?
  • How are social phenomena to be explained?

This book will be a valuable resource for students and scholars of sociology, social methodology, political theory, political science, social theory and philosophy.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. Abbreviations. 1. Weber and Durkheim 1.1 Weber and Durkheim: a methodological comparison 1.2 Why Weber and Durkheim? 1.3 Methodology and research practice in Weber and Durkheim 1.4 ‘How’ Weber and Durkheim? 2. Analyzing Protestants and Catholics 2.1 Durkheim: Protestants, Catholics – and suicide 2.2 Weber: Protestants, Catholics – and capitalism 3. ‘Social ontology’ 3.1 Weber: a chaos perception 3.2 Durkheim: a cosmos perception 4. Epistemology 4.1 Durkheim: inductivism 4.2 Weber: neo-Kantianism 5. Science and values 5.1 Weber: the gulf between ‘Is’ and ‘Ought’ 5.2 Durkheim: the bridge between ‘Is’ and ‘Ought’ 6. Methodological individualism 6.1 Weber: methodological individualism 6.2 Durkheim: methodological collectivism 7. Types of explanation 7.1 Durkheim: functional and causal explanations 7.2 Weber: intentional and causal explanations 8. Formation of concepts 8.1 Weber: ideal types 8.2 Durkheim: generic concepts 9. Laws 9.1 Durkheim: laws as an end 9.2 Weber: laws as means 10. Weber and Durkheim: a methodological comparison 10.1 Weber and Durkheim: two methodologies, two sociologies? 10.2 Methodological principles and research practice in Weber and Durkheim. Bibliography.

About the Author

Henrik Jensen, Dr.Scient.Pol. and Ph.D. in Political Science, is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen and has written and lectured on social science methodology.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC019000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Methodology
SOC026000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General