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Sociological Theories Of Karl Marx, W.E.B Du Bois And Emile Durkheim

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Karl Marx
  3. Emile Durkheim
  4. W. E. B. Du Bois


Sociology is, simply the scientific study of social behavior and human groups. It focuses on social relationships, how those relationships influence peoples’ behavior and how societies, the sum of relationships, development and change.

Sociological theories are statements of how and why particular facts about the social world are related. They range in scope from concise descriptions of a single social process to paradigms for analysis and interpretation. Sociologists today employ three primary theoretical perspectives: the symbolic interactionist perspective, the functionalist perspective, and the conflict perspective. These perspectives offer sociologists theoretical paradigms for explaining how society influences people, and vice versa. Each perspective uniquely conceptualizes society, social forces, and human behavior.

Karl Marx, W.E.B Du Bois, and Emile Durkheim are widely recognized as the trinity of sociological theory. While these three sociologists were trailblazing social theorists who enhanced the study of human behavior and its relationship to social institutions, other, more contemporary scholars were just as innovative like Auguste Comte, Harriet Martineau and the list goes on. In this essay I’ll be focusing on Marx, Du Bois and Durkheim and I’ll be writing about their theories and applying it to Jamaica.

Karl Marx

Karl Marx, in full Karl Heinrich Marx, born May 5, 1818, Trier, Rhine province, Prussia (Germany). He died March 14, 1883, London, (England), revolutionary, sociologist, historian, and economist. Karl Marx, is without a doubt the most influential socialist thinker to emerge in the 19th century. Although he was largely ignored by scholars in his own lifetime, his social, economic and political ideas gained rapid acceptance in the socialist movement after his death in 1883. Until quite recently almost half the population of the world lived under regimes that claim to be Marxist. This very success, however, has meant that the original ideas of Marx have often been modified and his meanings adapted to a great variety of political circumstances. In addition, the fact that Marx delayed publication of many of his writings meant that is been only recently that scholars had the opportunity to appreciate Marx's intellectual stature.

Emile Durkheim

Emile Durkheim is the philosopher who can best help us to understand why Capitalism makes us richer and yet frequently more miserable; even – far too often – suicidal. He was born in 1858 in the little French town of Epinal, near the German border. His family were devout Jews. Durkheim himself did not believe in God, but he was always fascinated by, and sympathetic to, religion. He was a clever student. He studied at the elite Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, travelled for a while in Germany, then took a university job in Bordeaux. He got married. There were two children: Marie and André. Before he was forty, Durkheim was appointed to a powerful and prestigious position as a professor at the Sorbonne. He had status and honor’s, but his mind remained unconventional and his curiosity insatiable. He died of a stroke in 1917.

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Durkheim's emphasis on suicide was proposed to reveal insight into an increasingly broad dimension of misery and despondency everywhere in the public eye. Suicide was the terrible hint of a greater challenge of mental pain made by Capitalism. Over his vocation, Durkheim endeavored to clarify why individuals had turned out to be so despondent in present day social orders, despite the fact that they had more chances and access to merchandise in amounts that their progenitors would never have longed for.

Durkheim is a master diagnostician of our ills. He shows us that modern economies put tremendous pressures on individuals, but leave us dangerously bereft of authoritative guidance and communal solace.

He didn’t feel capable of finding answers to the problems he identified but he knew that Capitalism would have to uncover them, or collapse. We are Durkheim’s heirs – and still have ahead of us the task he accorded us: to create new ways of belonging, to take some of the pressure off the individual, to find a correct balance between freedom and solidarity and to generate ideologies that allow us not to take our own failures so personally and sometimes so tragically.

W. E. B. Du Bois

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was one of the most important African-American activists during the first half of the 20th century. He co-founded the NAACP and supported Pan-Africanism.

Scholar and activist W.E.B. Du Bois was born on February 23, 1868, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. In 1895, he became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Du Bois wrote extensively and was the best-known spokesperson for African-American rights during the first half of the 20th century. He co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.) in 1909. Du Bois died in Ghana in 1963.

W. E. B Du Bois is arguably one of the most creative, discerning, and productive organizers of the sociological control. Notwithstanding driving the Pan-African development and being an extremist for social liberties for African Americans, Du Bois was a pioneer of urban humanism, a trend-setter of country human science, an innovator in criminology, the primary American social scientist of religion, and most outstandingly the principal incredible social scholar of race. The Social Theory of W. E. B. Du Bois is the main book to look at Du Bois' compositions from a sociological viewpoint and accentuate his hypothetical commitments. This volume covers subjects, for example, the significance of race, race relations, worldwide relations, financial matters, work, legislative issues, religion, wrongdoing, sexual orientation, and education.

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Sociological Theories Of Karl Marx, W.E.B Du Bois And Emile Durkheim. (2021, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 3, 2023, from
“Sociological Theories Of Karl Marx, W.E.B Du Bois And Emile Durkheim.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2021,
Sociological Theories Of Karl Marx, W.E.B Du Bois And Emile Durkheim. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 3 Dec. 2023].
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