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The Sociologist's EyeReflections on Social Life$
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Kai Erikson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300106671

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300106671.001.0001

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Coming to Terms with Social Life

Coming to Terms with Social Life

Marx, Durkheim, Weber

(p.93) Coming to Terms with Social Life
The Sociologist's Eye

Kai Erikson

Yale University Press

This chapter examines how three masters of the sociological tradition—Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim, and Max Weber—came to terms with social life. Two major themes run throughout Marx's work: the first has to do with the effects of the class struggle on the human spirit; the second has to do with the effects of class struggle on human thought and human institutions, a topic he dealt with under the general headings of class consciousness and ideology. The chapter also considers Durkheim's views on the nature of the social order and on the nature of sociology, and more specifically on questions such as those relating to division of labor, suicide, and religious life. Finally, it discusses Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism as well as his thoughts on topics ranging from the nature of sociology to forms of political authority.

Keywords:   sociology, Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim, Max Weber, social life, class struggle, social order, ideology, political authority

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