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Palgrave Macmillan

Durkheim: The Rules of Sociological Method

and Selected Texts on Sociology and its Method

Edition 2nd edition
ISBN 9781137031839
Publication Date November 2013
Formats Paperback Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) Hardcover 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

This revised and updated second edition of The Rules of Sociological Method and Selected Texts on Sociology and its Method represents Durkheim's manifesto for sociology. In it he sought to establish sociology's scientific credentials and to provide guiding principles for future research.

With a substantial new introduction by the leading Durkheim scholar Steven Lukes, the book explains the original argument and sets it in context. In addition, the still controversial debates about The Rules of Sociological Method's six chapters are examined and their relevance to present-day sociology is discussed. Also included are Durkheim's subsequent thoughts on method in the form of articles, debates with scholars from other disciplines, and letters.

This edition contains helpful learning features to help introduce a new generation of sociology students to Durkheim's rich contribution to the field.

Steven Lukes is Professor of Sociology at New York University, USA. He studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford, where he obtained his doctorate, writing a thesis on Durkheim under the supervision of the anthropologist E. E. Evans-Prichard. He has previously held posts in politics and sociology at Balliol College, Oxford, in political and social theory at the European University Institute in Florence, in moral philosophy at the University of Siena and in sociology at the London School of Economics. He is an emeritus Fellow of the British Academy and an editor of the European Journal of Sociology. His writing and teaching have ranged over political science, political and moral philosophy, sociology, anthropology and the philosophy of the social sciences. His published works include Emile Durkheim: His Life and Work.

Preface to this Edition (by Steven Lukes)
Introduction to this Edition (by Steven Lukes)
Durkheim's Life and Works: Timeline 1858-1917
Suggestions for Further Reading
The Rules of Sociological Method by Emile Durkheim
Preface to the First Edition (1895)
Preface to the Second Edition (1901)
1. What is a Social Fact? 
2. Rules for the Observation of Social Facts 
3. Rules for the Distinction of the Normal from the Pathological 
4. Rules for the Constitution of Social Types 
5. Rules for the Explanation of Social Facts 
6. Rules for the Demonstration of Sociological Proof
7. Conclusion
8. Original Table of Contents
9. Subsequent Writings of Emile Durkheim on Sociology and its Method
10. Marxism and Sociology: the Materialist Conception of History (1897)
11. Debate on the Relationship between Ethnology and Sociology (1907)
12. Debate on Explanation in History and Sociology (1908)
13. Debate on Political Economy and Sociology (1908)
14. The Contribution of Sociology to Psychology and Philosophy (1909)
15. Social Morphology (1909)
16. Civilization in General and Types of Civilization (1902)
17. The Method of Sociology (1908)
18. Society (1917)
19. Letters about:
20. The Psychological Character of Social Facts and their Reality (1895)
21. The Nature of Society and Causal Explanation (1898)
22. The Psychological Conception of Society (1901)
23. The Role of General Sociology (1905)
24. Influences upon Durkheim's View of Sociology (1907)


'Emile Durkheim's manifesto for a science of society is the founding treatise of modern sociology: an articulation of its mission, a bracing invitation to intellectual rigor, and an indispensable guide for the practice of research. This new and improved translation, enriched by a stimulative introduction by Steven Lukes and augmented by Durkheim's dispersed disquisitions on methods, belongs to the personal bookshelf of every bona fide social scientist.' Loïc Wacquant, University of California, Berkeley, USA, and Centre de sociologie européenne, Paris, France
'With this improved and expanded edition, The Rules of Sociological Method has finally been given the scholarly treatment it deserves. And the Editor's 'Introduction' – written with Steven Lukes' usual flair and erudition – provides an essential guide to the book's original historical context as well as to its lasting sociological importance.' David Garland, New York University, USA
'This book may have had more influence than any other on the formation of sociology as an academic discipline. Durkheim advances his seminal discussion of what makes a social fact then elaborates how to identify and analyse such facts in ways that still generate controversy and inform new research and theory today. Steven Lukes complements the classic book with well-chosen but less well-known shorter texts in which Durkheim grapples further with the nature of sociological explanation. Lukes' introduction is superb: clear for a student and informative for a professor.' Craig Calhoun, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
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