Emile Durkheim on the family

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Sage Publications, Oct 24, 2001 - Family & Relationships - 271 pages
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"This valuable source for a systematic and comprehensive understanding of Durkheim's ideas on the family constitutes a major addition to the literature on the family, social theory, women's studies, and family law. Highly recommended for upper-division undergraduates and above."


Emile Durkheim on the Family is intended to bring attention to this classical sociologist's work on the family. Durkheim's writings in this area are little known, but the family was nevertheless one of his primary interests, the subject of an intended book that was never written. Durkheim's ideas on the family appear only in scattered sources and a number of those sources have not been translated into English. Durkheim's Sociology of the family has not heretofore been presented and analyzed holistically.

The purpose of Lamanna's book is to bring together Durkheim's ideas on the family from diverse sources and to present his family sociology systematically and comprehensively. Quotations from Durkheim's writing or speaking enrich the analysis. Durkheim's work on the family is situated in its historical context and comparisons are drawn to present-day sociology of the family is situated in its historical context and comparisons are drawn to present-day sociology of the family and family issues.

Chapter topics include:

  • Durkheim's life and times
  • His evolutionary theory of the family
  • Methodologies for studying the family
  • The changing relationship of kin
  • Conjugal family and the state
  • The interior of the family
  • Family policy
  • Gender
  • Sexuality

An examination of Durkheim's work on the family reveals its close connections to his wee-known books and theories. Emile Durkheim on the Family should interest audiences in sociology of the family, social theory, family science, European intellectual history women's studies, legal history, and those generally interested in family studies and / or nineteenth and early twentieth century Europe.


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The Origins and Evolution of the Family
Studying the Family

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About the author (2001)

 Mary Ann Lamanna is Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where she has been on the faculty since 1977. Born in New Jersey, she grew up in St. Louis and received a bachelor’s degree (Phi Beta Kappa) in political science from Washington University. She spent a post-baccalaureate year at the University of Strasbourg, France on a Fulbright Scholarship. Her M.A. in sociology is from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and her Ph.D. in sociology is from the University of Notre Dame. She is coauthor (with Agnes Riedmann) of Marriages and Families: Making Choices in A Diverse Society, now in its seventh edition. She has published articles on nineteenth century women, adolescent women’s discourse on sexuality and reproduction, images of mothers in legal opinions, gender issues in the teaching of criminal law, the gift-exchange in organ and tissue donation, and the sociological framing of the abortion issue. She plans a future book on sociological themes in the writings of Marcel Proust.

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