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Old Saturday, December 09, 2006
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Émile Durkheim

Émile Durkheim (15 April, 1858 – 15 November, 1917) was a French sociologist and anthropologist who was decisive in shaping modern sociology. His work, lectures, and editorship of the first journal of sociology helped establish it within the academy as an accepted "science sociale" (social science). During his lifetime, Durkheim gave many lectures, and published numerous sociological studies on subjects such as education, crime, religion, suicide, and many other aspects of society.

Life

Durkheim was born on the evening of April 15, 1858 at Épinal in Lorraine in France. He came from a long line of devout French Jews; his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather had been rabbis. Durkheim himself lived a completely secular life. Much of his work, in fact, was dedicated to demonstrating that religious phenomena stemmed from social rather than divine factors. His Jewish background did, however, shape his sociology — many of his students and collaborators were fellow Jews, and often blood relatives.

A precocious student, Durkheim entered the École Normale Supérieure in 1879. His entering class was one of the most brilliant of the nineteenth century and many of his classmates, such as Jean Jaurès and Henri Bergson would go on to become major figures in France's intellectual life. At the ENS Durkheim studied with Fustel de Coulanges, a classicist with a social scientific outlook. At the same time, he read Auguste Comte and Herbert Spencer. Thus Durkheim became interested in a scientific approach to society very early on in his career. This meant the first of many conflicts with the French academic system, which had no social science curriculum at the time. Durkheim found humanistic studies uninteresting, and he finished second to last in his graduating class when he aggregated in philosophy in 1882.

Durkheim's interest in social phenomena was also spurred on by politics. France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War had created a backlash against secular, republican rule and many considered a Catholic, vigorously nationalistic approach the only way to rejuvenate France's fading power on the continent. Durkheim, a Jew and socialist, was thus in the political minority, a situation which galvanized him politically. The Dreyfus affair of 1894 only strengthened his activist stance.

There was no way that a man of Durkheim's views could receive a major academic appointment in Paris, and so after spending a year studying sociology in Germany he traveled to Bordeaux in 1887, which had just started France's first teacher's training center. There he taught both pedagogy and social science (a novel position in France). From this position Durkheim reformed the French school system and introduced the study of social science in its curriculum. However, his controversial beliefs that religion and morality could be explained in terms purely of social interaction earned him many critics.

The 1890s were a period of remarkable creative output for Durkheim. In 1893 he published The Division of Labor in Society, his fundamental statement of the nature of human society and its development. In 1895 he published Rules of the Sociological Method, a manifesto stating what sociology was and how it ought to be done, and founded the first European Department of Sociology at the University of Bordeaux. In 1896 he founded the journal L'Année Sociologique in order to publish and publicize the work of what was by then a growing number of students and collaborators (this is also the name used to refer to the group of students who developed his sociological program). And finally, in 1897, he published Suicide, a case study which provided an example of what the sociological monograph might look like.

In 1902 Durkheim finally achieved his goal of attaining a prominent position in Paris when he became the chair of education at the Sorbonne. Because French universities are technically institutions for training secondary school teachers, this position gave Durkheim considerable influence - his lectures were the only ones that were mandatory for the entire student body. Despite what some considered, in the aftermath of the Dreyfus affair, to be a political appointment, Durkheim consolidated his institutional power by 1912 when he was permanently assigned the chair and renamed it the chair of education and sociology. It was also in this year that he published his last major work, Elementary Forms of the Religious Life.

World War I was to have a tragic effect on Durkheim's life. Durkheim's leftism was always patriotic rather than internationalist — he sought a secular, rational form of French life. But the coming of the war and the inevitable nationalist propaganda that followed made it difficult to sustain this already nuanced position. While Durkheim actively worked to support his country in the war, his reluctance to give in to simplistic nationalist fervor (combined with his Jewish background) made him a natural target of the now-ascendant French right. Even more seriously, the generation of students that Durkheim had trained were now being drafted to serve in the army, and many of them perished as France was bled white in the trenches. Finally, Durkheim's own son died in the war — a mental blow from which Durkheim never recovered. Emotionally devastated and overworked, Durkheim collapsed of a stroke in Paris in 1917. He recovered over several months and resumed work on La Morale. He then died at the age of 59 on November 15 from exhaustion.

Theories and ideas

Durkheim was concerned primarily with how societies could maintain their integrity and coherence in the modern era, when things such as shared religious and ethnic background could no longer be assumed. In order to study social life in modern societies, Durkheim sought to create one of the first scientific approaches to social phenomena. Along with Herbert Spencer, Durkheim was one of the first people to explain the existence and quality of different parts of a society by reference to what function they served in keeping the society healthy and balanced—a position that would come to be known as functionalism.

Durkheim also insisted that society was more than the sum of its parts. Thus unlike his contemporaries Ferdinand Tönnies and Max Weber, he focused not on what motivates the actions of individual people (methodological individualism), but rather on the study of social facts, a term which he coined to describe phenomena which have an existence in and of themselves and are not bound to the actions of individuals. He argued that social facts had an independent existence greater and more objective than the actions of the individuals that composed society and could only be explained by other social facts rather than, say, by society's adaptation to a particular climate or ecological niche.

In his 1893 work The Division of Labor in Society, Durkheim examined how social order was maintained in different types of societies. He focused on the division of labor, and examined how it differed in traditional societies and modern societies[1]. Authors before him such as Herbert Spencer or Otto von Gierke had argued that societies evolved much like living organisms, moving from a simple state to a more complex one resembling the workings of complex machines. Durkheim reversed this formula, adding his theory to the growing pool of theories of social progress, social evolutionism and social darwinism. He argued that traditional societies were 'mechanical' and were held together by the fact that everyone was more or less the same, and hence had things in common. In traditional societies, argues Durkheim, the collective consciousness entirely subsumes individual consciousness—social norms are strong and social behavior is well-regulated.

In modern societies, he argued, the highly complex division of labor resulted in 'organic' solidarity. Different specializations in employment and social roles created dependencies that tied people to one another, since people no longer could count on filling all of their needs by themselves. In 'mechanical' societies, for example, subsistence farmers live in communities which are self-sufficient and knit together by a common heritage and common job. In modern 'organic' societies, workers earn money, and must rely on other people who specialize in certain products (groceries, clothing, etc.) to meet their needs. The result of increasing division of labor, according to Durkheim, is that individual consciousness emerges distinct from collective consciousness—often finding itself in conflict with collective consciousness.

Durkheim also made an association of the kind of solidarity in a given society and the preponderance of a law system. He found that in societies with mechanical solidarity the law is generally repressive: the agent of a crime or deviant behaviour would suffer a punishment, that in fact would compensate collective conscience neglected by the crime—the punishment acts more to preserve the unity of consciences. On the other hand, in societies with organic solidarity the law is generally restitutive: it aims not to punish, but instead to restitute normal activity of a complex society.

The rapid change in society due to increasing division of labor thus produces a state of confusion with regard to norms and increasing impersonality in social life, leading eventually to relative normlessness, i.e. the breakdown of social norms regulating behavior; Durkheim labels this state anomie. From a state of anomie come all forms of deviant behavior, most notably suicide.

Durkheim developed the concept of anomie later in Suicide, published in 1897. In it, he explores the differing suicide rates among Protestants and Catholics, explaining that stronger social control among Catholics results in lower suicide rates. According to Durkheim, people have a certain level of attachment to their groups, which he calls social integration. Abnormally high or low levels of social integration may result in increased suicide rates; low levels have this effect because low social integration results in disorganized society, alientation and loneliness in the individual, causing people to turn to suicide as a last resort, while high levels cause people to kill themselves to avoid becoming burdens on society, or because the social pressure becomes too great and oppressive. According to Durkheim, Catholic society has normal levels of integration while Protestant society has low levels. This work has influenced proponents of control theory, and is often mentioned as a classic sociological study.

Finally, Durkheim is remembered for his work on 'primitive' (i.e. non-Western) people in books such as his 1912 volume Elementary Forms of the Religious Life and the essay Primitive Classification that he wrote with Marcel Mauss. These works examine the role that religion and mythology have in shaping the worldview and personality of people in extremely (to use Durkheim's phrase) 'mechanical' societies. In Elementary Forms of the Religious Life Durkheim develops a theory of religion which is based on Collective Effervescence.

Durkheim on education

Durkheim was also very interested in education. Partially this was because he was professionally employed to train teachers, and he used his ability to shape curriculum to further his own goals of having sociology taught as widely as possible. More broadly, though, Durkheim was interested in the way that education could be used to provide French citizens the sort of shared, secular background that would be a necessary to prevent anomie in modern societies. It was to this end that he also proposed the formation of professional groups to serve as a source of solidarity for adults.

Durkheim argued that education has many functions:

To reinforce social solidarity
History: Learning about individuals who have done good things for the many makes an individual feel insignificant.
Pledging allegiance: Makes individuals feel part of a group and therefore less likely to break rules.
To maintain social roles
School is a society in miniature. It has a similar hierarchy, rules, expectations to the "outside world". It trains young people to fulfill roles.
To maintain division of labour.
School sorts students into skill groups, encouraging students to take up employment in fields best suited to their abilities.

Durkheim on crime

Durkheim's views on crime were a departure from conventional notions. He believed that crime is "bound up with the fundamental conditions of all social life" and serves a social function. He stated that crime implies, "not only that the way remains open to necessary change, but that in certain cases it directly proposes these changes...crime [can thus be] a useful prelude to reforms." In this sense he saw crime as being able to release certain social tensions and so have a cleansing or purging effect in society. He further stated that "the authority which the moral conscience enjoys must not be excessive; otherwise, no-one would dare to criticise it, and it would too easily congeal into an immutable form. To make progress, individual originality must be able to express itself...[even] the originality of the criminal...shall also be possible" (Durkheim, 1895).

Durkheim on religion

In classical sociology, the study of religion was primarily concerned with two broad issues:

How did religion contribute to the maintenance of social order?

What was the relationship between religion and capitalist society?


These two issues were typically combined in the argument that industrial capitalism would undermine traditional religious commitment and thereby threaten the cohesion of society. More recently the subject has been narrowly defined as the study of religious institutions.

Emile Durkheim placed himself in the positivist tradition, meaning that he thought of his study of society as dispassionate and scientific. He was deeply interested in the problem of what held complex modern societies together. Religion, he argued, was an expression of social cohesion. His underlying interest was to understand the basic forms of religious life for all societies. Durkheim, saw totemism as the original form of religion. The totemic animal, Durkheim believed, was the original focus of religious activity because it was the emblem for a social group, the clan. He thought that the function of religion was to make people willing to put the interests of society ahead of their own desires. One of the major functions of religion according to Durkheim was to prepare people for social life.

Durkheim thought that the model for relationships between people and the supernatural was the relationship between individuals and the community. He is famous for suggesting that "God is society, writ large." Durkheim believed that people ordered the physical world, the supernatural world, and the social world according to similar principles.

Durkheim’s first purpose was to identify the social origin of religion as he felt that religion was a source of camaraderie and solidarity. It was the individual’s way of becoming recognisable within an established society. His second purpose was to identify links between certain religions in different cultures, finding a common denominator. Belief in supernatural realms and occurrences may not stem through all religions, yet there is a clear division in different aspects of life, certain behaviours and physical things. He suggested there were two categories: the sacred and the profane.

In the past, he argued, religion had been the cement of society--the means by which men had been led to turn from the everyday concerns in which they were variously enmeshed to a common devotion to sacred things. He said "A religion is a unified system of beliefs…relative to sacred things…beliefs and practices which unite in one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them."

Durkheim believed that “society has to be present within the individual”, he saw religion as a mechanism that shored up or protected at threatened social order. He thought that religion had been the cement of society in the past, but that the collapse of religion would not lead to a moral implosion. Durkheim was specifically interested in religion as a communal experience rather than an individual one. He also says that religious phenomena occurs when a separation is made between the profane (the realm of everyday activities), and the sacred (the realm of the extraordinary and the transcendent); theses are different depending what man chooses it to be. An example of this is wine at communion, as it is not only wine but it represents the blood of Christ. Durkheim believes that religion is ‘society divinised’, as he argues that religion occurs in a social context. He also, in lieu of forefathers before who tried to replace the dying religions, urged people to unite in a civic morality on the basis that we are what we are as a result of society.

Durkheim condensed religion into four major functions:

Disciplinary, forcing or administrating discipline

Cohesive, brining people together, a strong bond

Vitalizing, to make more lively or vigorous, vitalise, boost spirit

Euphoric, a good feeling, happiness, confidence, well-being

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emile_Durkheim
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Maximilian Weber (April 21, 1864 – June 14, 1920)

Weber was a German political economist and sociologist who is considered one of the founders of the modern study of sociology and public administration. He began his career at the University of Berlin, and later worked at Freiburg University, University of Heidelberg, University of Vienna and University of Munich. He was influential in contemporary German politics, being one of Germany's negotiators at the Treaty of Versailles and the member of the commission charged with drafting the Weimar Constitution.

His major works deal with rationalisation in sociology of religion and government, but he also contributed much in the field of economics. His most famous work is his essay The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, which began his work in the sociology of religion. In this work, Weber argued that religion was one of the non-exclusive reasons for the different ways the cultures of the Occident and the Orient have developed, and stressed importance of particular characteristics of ascetic Protestantism which led to the development of capitalism, bureaucracy and rational-legal state in the West. In another major work, Politics as a Vocation, Weber defined the state as an entity which possesses a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force, a definition that became pivotal to the study of modern Western political science. His most known contributions are often referred to as the 'Weber Thesis'.

Achievements

Along with Karl Marx and Émile Durkheim, Weber is regarded as one of the founders of modern sociology, although in his times he was viewed primarily as a historian and an economist. Whereas Durkheim, following Comte, worked in the positivist tradition, Weber created and worked – like Werner Sombart, his friend and then the most famous representative of German sociology – in the antipositivist tradition. Those works started the antipositivistic revolution in social sciences, which stressed the difference between the social sciences and natural sciences, especially due to human social actions (which Weber differentiated into traditional, affectional, value-rational and instrumental. Weber's early work was related to industrial sociology, but he is most famous for his later work on the sociology of religion and sociology of government.

Max Weber began his studies of rationalisation in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, in which he shows how the aims of certain ascetic Protestant denominations, particularly Calvinism, shifted towards the rational means of economic gain as a way of expressing that they had been blessed. The rational roots of this doctrine, he argued, soon grew incompatible with and larger than the religious, and so the latter were eventually discarded. Weber continues his investigation into this matter in later works, notably in his studies on bureaucracy and on the classifications of authority. In these works he alludes to an inevitable move towards rationalization.

It should be noted that many of his works famous today were collected, revised, and published posthumously. Significant interpretations of Weber's writings were produced by such sociological luminaries as Talcott Parsons and C. Wright Mills.

Sociology of religion

Weber's work on the sociology of religion started with the essay The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and continued with the analysis of The Religion of China: Confucianism and Taoism, The Religion of India: The Sociology of Hinduism and Buddhism, and Ancient Judaism. His work on other religions was interrupted by his sudden death in 1920, which prevented him from following Ancient Judaism with studies of Psalms, Book of Jacob, Talmudic Jewry, early Christianity and Islam. His three main themes were the effect of religious ideas on economic activities, the relation between social stratification and religious ideas, and the distinguishable characteristics of Western civilization.

His goal was to find reasons for the different development paths of the cultures of the Occident and the Orient, although without judging or valuing them, like some of contemporary thinkers who followed the social darwinist paradigm; Weber wanted primarily to explain the distinctive elements of the Western civilization. In the analysis of his findings, Weber maintained that Calvinist (and more widely, Christian) religious ideas had had a major impact on the social innovation and development of the economic system of Europe and the United States, but noted that they were not the only factors in this development. Other notable factors mentioned by Weber included the rationalism of scientific pursuit, merging observation with mathematics, science of scholarship and jurisprudence, rational systematisation of government administration, and economic enterprise. In the end, the study of the sociology of religion, according to Weber, merely explored one phase of the freedom from magic, that "disenchantment of the world" that he regarded as an important distinguishing aspect of Western culture.

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

Weber's essay The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus) is his most famous work. It is argued that this work should not be viewed as a detailed study of Protestantism, but rather as an introduction into Weber's later works, especially his studies of interaction between various religious ideas and economic behaviour. In The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Weber puts forward the thesis that the Puritan ethic and ideas influenced the development of capitalism. Religious devotion has usually been accompanied by rejection of mundane affairs, including economic pursuit.[24] Why was that not the case with Protestantism? Weber addresses that paradox in his essay.

He defines "the spirit of capitalism" as the ideas and habits that favour the rational pursuit of economic gain. Weber points out that such a spirit is not limited to Western culture, when considered as the attitude of individuals, but that such individuals – heroic entrepreneurs, as he calls them – could not by themselves establish a new economic order (capitalism). Among the universal tendencies identified by Weber that those individuals had to fight were the desire to profit with minimum effort, the idea that work was a curse and a burden to be avoided, especially when it exceeded what was enough for modest life. "In order that a manner of life well adapted to the peculiarities of capitalism" wrote Weber "could come to dominate others, it had to originate somewhere, and not in isolated individuals alone, but as a way of life common to whole groups of man."

After defining the spirit of capitalism, Weber argues that there are many reasons to look for its origins in the religious ideas of the Reformation. Many observers like William Petty, Montesquieu, Henry Thomas Buckle, John Keats, and others have commented on the affinity between Protestantism and the development of the commercial spirit.

Weber showed that certain types of Protestantism – notably Calvinism – favoured rational pursuit of economic gain and worldly activities which had been given positive spiritual and moral meaning. It was not the goal of those religious ideas, but rather a byproduct – the inherent logic of those doctrines and the advice based upon them both directly and indirectly encouraged planning and self-denial in the pursuit of economic gain. A common illustration is in the cobbler, hunched over his work, who devotes his entire effort to the praise of God.

Weber stated that he abandoned research into Protestantism because his colleague Ernst Troeltsch, a professional theologian, had initiated work on the book The Social Teachings of the Christian Churches and Sects. Another reason for Weber's decision was that that essay has provided the perspective for a broad comparison of religion and society, which he continued in his later works. The phrase "work ethic" used in modern commentary is a derivative of the "Protestant ethic" discussed by Weber. It was adopted when the idea of the Protestant ethic was generalised to apply to Japanese, Jews and other non-Christians.

Sociology of politics and government

In the sociology of politics and government, one of Weber's most significant contribution is his Politics as a Vocation essay. Therein, Weber unveils the definition of the state that has become so pivotal to Western social thought: that the state is that entity which possesses a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force, which it may nonetheless elect to delegate as it sees fit. In this essay, Weber wrote that politics is to be understood as any activity in which the state might engage itself in order to influence the relative distribution of force. Politics thus comes to be understood as deriving from power. A politician must not be a man of the "true Christian ethic", understood by Weber as being the ethic of the Sermon on the Mount, that is to say, the injunction to turn the other cheek. An adherent of such an ethic ought rather to be understood to be a saint, for it is only saints, according to Weber, that can appropriately follow it. The political realm is no realm for saints. A politician ought to marry the ethic of ultimate ends and the ethic of responsibility, and must possess both a passion for his avocation and the capacity to distance himself from the subject of his exertions (the governed).

Weber distinguished three pure types of political leadership, domination and authority: charismatic domination (familial and religious), traditional domination (patriarchs, patrimonalism, feudalism), and legal domination (modern law and state, bureaucracy). In his view, every historical relation between rulers and ruled contained such elements and they can be analysed on the basis of this tripartite distinction. He also notes that the instability of charismatic authority inevitably forces it to "routinize" into a more structured form of authority. Likewise he notes that in a pure type of traditional rule, sufficient resistance to a master can lead to a "traditional revolution". Thus he alludes to an inevitable move towards a rational-legal structure of authority, utilising a bureaucratic structure. Thus this theory can be sometimes viewed as part of the social evolutionism theory. This ties to his broader concept of rationalisation by suggesting the inevitability of a move in this direction.

Weber is also well-known for his critical study of the bureaucratisation of society, the rational ways in which formal social organisations apply the ideal type characteristics of a bureaucracy. It was Weber who begun the studies of bureaucracy and whose works led to the popularization of this term. Many aspects of modern public administration go back to him, and a classic, hierarchically organised civil service of the Continental type is called "Weberian civil service", although this is only one ideal type of public administration and government described in his magnum opus Economy and Society (1922), and one that he did not particularly like himself – he only thought it particularly efficient and successful. In this work, Weber outlines a description, which has become famous, of rationalisation (of which bureaucratisation is a part) as a shift from a value-oriented organisation and action (traditional authority and charismatic authority) to a goal-oriented organisation and action (legal-rational authority). The result, according to Weber, is a "polar night of icy darkness", in which increasing rationalisation of human life traps individuals in an "iron cage" of rule-based, rational control.[45] Weber's bureaucracy studies also led him to his analysis – correct, as it would turn out – that socialism in Russia would, due to the abolishing of the free market and its mechanisms, lead to over-bureaucratisation (evident, for example, in the shortage economy) rather than to the "withering away of the state" (as Karl Marx had predicted would happen in communist society). In defense of Marx's 'prediction', however, it should be noted that Russian society at the time of the Russian revolution was not the 'advanced capitalist' type of society in which Marx had said true communism would arise and flourish.

Economics

While Max Weber is best known and recognised today as one of the leading scholars and founders of modern sociology, he also accomplished much in other fields, notably economics. During his life no such distinctions really existed, and Weber considered himself a historian and an economist first, sociologist distant second.

From the point of view of the economists, he is a representative of the "Youngest" German historical school of economics. His most valued contributions to the field of economics is his famous work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. This is a seminal essay on the differences between religions and the relative wealth of their followers. Weber's work is parallel to Sombart's treatise of the same phenomenon, which however located the rise of Capitalism in Judaism. Weber's other main contribution to economics (as well as to social sciences in general) is his work on methodology: his theories of "Verstehen" (known as understanding or Interpretative Sociology) and of antipositivism (known as humanistic sociology).

The doctrine of Interpretative Sociology is one of the main sociological paradigms, with many supporters as well as critics. This thesis states that social, economic and historical research can never be fully inductive or descriptive as one must always approach it with a conceptual apparatus, which Weber termed "Ideal Type". The idea can be summarised as follows: an ideal type is formed from characteristics and elements of the given phenomena but it is not meant to correspond to all of the characteristics of any one particular case. Weber's Ideal Type became one of the most important concepts in social sciences, and led to the creation of such concepts as Ferdinand Tönnies' "Normal Type".

Weber conceded that employing "Ideal Types" was an abstraction but claimed that it was nonetheless essential if one were to understand any particular social phenomena because, unlike physical phenomena, they involve human behaviour which must be interpreted by ideal types. This, together with his antipositivistic argumentation can be viewed as the methodological justification for the assumption of the "rational economic man" (homo economicus).

Max Weber formulated a three-component theory of stratification, with Social class, Social status and party (or politicals) as conceptually distinct elements.

Social class is based on economically determined relationship to the market (owner, renter, employee etc.).
Status is based on non-economical qualities like honour, prestige and religion.
Party refers to affiliations in the political domain.
All three dimensions have consequences for what Weber called "life chances".

Weber's other contributions to economics were several: these include a (seriously researched) economic history of Roman agrarian society, his work on the dual roles of idealism and materialism in the history of capitalism in his Economy and Society (1914) which present Weber's criticisms (or according to some, revisions) of some aspects of Marxism. Finally, his thoroughly researched General Economic History (1923) can be considered the Historical School at its empirical best.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Web...sociologist%29
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Madam Naqvi,

Lagta hai aap Css ki sari prepration wikipedia say kar rahin hain. Answer.com is also a free encyclopedia in fect it displays results from multiple sources.

http://www.answers.com/topic/emile-durkheim
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Default thats really good

bohat aaala g .....
plz also write abt spencer and khaldun.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Fox
Madam Naqvi,

Lagta hai aap Css ki sari prepration wikipedia say kar rahin hain. Answer.com is also a free encyclopedia in fect it displays results from multiple sources.

http://www.answers.com/topic/emile-durkheim
Well Desert Fox I think you havent visited all of my threads I m a regualar user of www.answers.com and you can check its link too. Yes wikipedia is an easy access, with precision and accuracy so mostly pick it up when have to grasp the theme of the issue. Otherwise I make preperation from Books too.

Well I m not preparing for CSS now. Will see it later but atleast have no plan to go for CSS 2007. I m adding material for the help of those aspirants who are opting for CSS 2007.
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I appreciate your effort firstly,

How can u say its accurate and precis?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Fox
I appreciate your effort firstly,

How can u say its accurate and precis?
Thanks for your appreciation

I can say it accurate caz I rarely find contradictory material in books. So you can say its accurate.... and as far as precision is concern you can check it out... its precise meaningful than any other link of Answers.com and google search.
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Old Tuesday, December 12, 2006
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Arrow Ibn-e-Khaldun

Ibn Khaldūn or Ibn Khaldoun

(May 27, 1332/732AH to March 19, 1406/808AH)

He was a famous historiographer and historian born in present-day Tunisia, and is sometimes viewed as one of the forerunners of modern historiography, sociology and economics. He is best known for his Muqaddimah "Prolegomena".

Biography

Ibn Khaldūn's life is relatively well-documented, as he wrote an autobiography (Al-Tarīf bi Ibn-Khaldūn wa Riħlatuhu Gharbān wa Sharqān, published by Muħammad ibn-Tāwīt at-Tanjī, Cairo 1951) in which numerous documents regarding his life are quoted word-for-word. However, the autobiography has little to say about his private life, so that little is known about his family background. Generally known as "Ibn Khaldūn" after a remote ancestor, he was born in Tunis in 1332 C.E. (732 A.H.) into an upper-class Andalusian family, the Banū Khaldūn. His family, which held many high offices in Andalucia, had emigrated to Tunisia after the fall of Seville at the end of the Reconquista, around the middle of the 13th century. Under the Tunisian Hafsid dynasty some of his family held political office; Ibn Khaldūn's father and grandfather however withdrew from political life and joined a mystical order.

In his autobiography, Ibn Khaldun traces his descent back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad through an Arab tribe from Yemen, specifically the Hadhramaut, which came to Spain in the eighth century at the beginning of the Islamic conquest. In his own words: "And our ancestry is from Hadhramaut, from the Arabs of Yemen, via Wa'il ibn Hajar, from the best of the Arabs, well-known and respected." (p. 2429, Al-Waraq's edition). However, the biographer Mohammad Enan question his claim, suggesting that his family may have been Berbers who pretended to be of Arab origin in order to gain social status.[1] According to Muhammad Hozien, "The false [Barber] identity would be valid however at the time that Ibn Khaldun’s ancestors left Andulsia and moved to Tunisia they did not change their claim to Arab ancestry. Even in the times when Berbers were ruling, the reigns of Al-Marabats and al-Mowahids, et. al. The Ibn Khalduns did not reclaim their Berber heritage."

Unlike most Arab scholars, Ibn Khaldūn has left behind few works other than his history of the world, al-Kitābu l-ibār. Significantly, such writings are not alluded to in his autobiography, suggesting perhaps that Ibn Khaldūn saw himself first and foremost as a historian and wanted to be known above all as the author of al-Kitābu l-ibār. From other sources we know of several other works, primarily composed during the time he spent in North Africa and Spain. His first book, Lubābu l-Muhassal, a commentary on the theology of ar-Razī, was written at the age of 19 under the supervision of his teacher al-Ābilī in Tunis. A work on Sufism, Sifā'u l-Sā'il, was composed around 1373 in Fez. Whilst at the court of Muhammad V, Sultan of Granada, Ibn Khaldūn composed a work on logic, allaqa li-l-Sultān.

The Kitābu l-ibār (full title: Kitābu l-ibār wa Diwānu l-Mubtada' wa l-abar fī Ayyāmu l-arab wa l-Ājam wa l-Barbar wa man Āsarahum min ĐawIu s-Sultānu l-Akbār "Book of Evidence, Record of Beginnings and Events from the Days of the Arabs, Persians and Berbers and their Powerful Contemporaries"), Ibn Khaldūn's main work, was originally conceived as a history of the Berbers. Later the focus was widened so that in its final form (including its own methodology and anthropology) it represents a so-called "universal history". It is divided into seven books, the first of which, the Muqaddimah, can be considered a separate work. Books two to five cover the history of mankind up to the time of Ibn Khaldūn. Books six and seven cover the history of the Berber peoples and of the Maghreb, which for the present-day historian represent the real value of the Al-Kitābu l-ibār, as they are based on Ibn Khaldūn's personal knowledge of the Berbers.

For sociology it is interesting that he conceived both a central social conflict ("town" versus "desert") as well as a theory (using the concept of a "generation") of the necessary loss of power of city conquerors coming from the desert. Following a contemporary Arab scholar, Sati' al-Husri, it can be suggested that the Muqaddimah is essentially a sociological work, sketching over its six books a general sociology; a sociology of politics; a sociology of urban life; a sociology of economics; and a sociology of knowledge. The work is based around Ibn Khaldun's central concept of 'asabiyah "social cohesion." This cohesion arises spontaneously in tribes and other small kinship groups; and it can be intensified and enlarged by a religious ideology. Ibn Khaldun's analysis looks at how this cohesion carries groups to power but contains within itself the seeds - psychological, sociological, economic, political - of the group's downfall, to be replaced by a new group, dynasty or empire bound by a stronger (or at least younger and more vigorous) cohesion.

Perhaps the most frequently cited observation drawn from Ibn Khaldūn's work is, in layman's terms, the notion that when a society becomes a great civilization (and, presumably, the dominant culture in its region), its high point is followed by a period of decay. This means that the next cohesive group that conquers the diminished civilization is, by comparison, a group of barbarians. Once the barbarians solidify their control over the conquered society, however, they become attracted to its more refined aspects, such as literacy and arts, and either assimilate into or appropriate such cultural practices. Then, eventually, the former barbarians will be conquered by a new set of barbarians, who will repeat the process.


Assessment on different civilizations

Ibn Khaldūn's assessment on different civilizations in relationship to their habitation and way of life has drawn the attention of some scholars.

On the culture of bedouin nomads, which Ibn Khaldun uses the term Arabs to refer to, Ibn Khaldūn writes:

Arabs dominate only of the plains, because they are, by their savage nature, people of pillage and corruption. They pillage everything that they can take without fighting or taking risks, then flee to their refuge in the wilderness, and do not stand and do battle unless in self-defense. So when they encounter any difficulty or obstacle, they leave it alone and look for easier prey. And tribes well-fortified against them on the slopes of the hills escape their corruption and destruction, because they prefer not to climb hills, nor expend effort, nor take risks.'

Ibn Ibn Khaldūn on the other hand expresses a great admiration for the Persians and sedantary culture.

It is a remarkable fact that, with few exceptions, most Muslim scholars both in the religious and intellectual sciences have been non-Arabs . Thus the founders of grammar were Sibawaih and, after him, al-Farisi and az-Zajjaj. All of whom were of Persian descent. They were brought up in the Arabic language and acquired knowledge of it through their upbringing and through contact with Arabs. They invented the rules [of grammar] and made it into a discipline for later generations. Most of the hadith scholars, who preserved traditions of the Prophet for the Muslims also were Persians, or Persian in language and breeding because the discipline was widely cultivated in Iraq and regions beyond. Furthermore, all the great jurists were Persians, as is well-known. The same applies to speculative theologians and to most of the Qu'ran commentators. Only the Persians engaged in the task of preserving knowledge and writing systematic scholarly works. Thus the truth of the statement of the Prophet becomes apparent, If learning were suspended at the highest parts of heaven the Persians would attain it. ... The intellectual sciences were also the preserve of the Persians, left alone by the Arabs, who did not cultivate them. They were cultivated by arabicized Persians, as was the case with all the crafts, as we stated at the beginning. This situation continued in the cities as long as the Persians and Persian countries, Iraq, Khurasan and Transoxiana, retained their sedantary culture. (note in the Islamic literature there are two Iraq's. The Iraq-e-Ajam (Persian Iraq) and Iraq-e-Arab (Arab Iraq). The Persian Iraq mentioned by Ibn Khaldun is the historic Iraq-e-Ajam (Persian Iraq) which constitutes the triangle of Isfahan, Shiraz and Hamadan).
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For Herbert Spencer you can check this link... Here material is quite detailed so I havent added it on the forum. Check this out:

http://www.bolender.com/Sociological...%20Spencer.htm
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