Applying Karl Mannheim's Sociologist Approach to the Theories of Emile Durkheim and William James

Applying Karl Mannheim's Sociologist Approach to the Theories of Emile Durkheim and William James

Length: 807 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

We can apply Karl Mannheim’s sociologist approach to knowledge to the theories of two scholars of religion, Émile Durkheim and William James. “The ideas expressed by the subject are thus regarded as functions of his existence. This means that opinion, statements, propositions, and systems of ideas are not taken at their face value but are interpreted in the light of the life-situation of the one who expresses them” (Mannheim 50). Mannheim essentially believes that the acquisition of knowledge is based on the perspective of the observer. More obviously, their respective views stem from their fields of expertise; Durkheim, a sociologist, supports social constructionism as a rudimentary tool to understanding religion, while William James takes a psychological approach. Adhering to Mannheim, one theory is not necessarily more right than the other rather, they are simply perspectives based on relative positions. But fields of vision often overlap, especially with a common goal of defining religion.
Durkheim’s and James’ theories are similar in their approach, both using experience as the primary basis of study and the sacred and profane spaces as but are inherently different in their objectives. Durkheim interprets religion through the communal aspects of religion, when James looks at the particular individuals’ experience and interpretations of religion.
Durkheim and James both acknowledge the dichotomy of sacred and profane; Durkheim more blatantly does so in the first part of his definition of religion, “A religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and surrounded by prohibitions” (Durkheim 46). Alternatively, James’ relation to the sacred and profane requires ...

... middle of paper ...

...structionist, neglects to acknowledge salvation as a component. Almost as an afterthought within the conclusion, Durkheim states “The first article of all faith is the belief in salvation by faith” (Durkheim 311). James on the other hand, holds salvation in a higher regard, proving it to be one of the cornerstones of his definition when he explores individual religious testimonials of transformation.

In retrospect, although there are certainly similarities between the two theories, Durkheim and James, have similarities in that they both operate on the acceptance of the existence of sacred and profane spaces, as well as utilizing experience as a tool to study religion, but they also have their differences in their methods. Durkheim studies a communal past, while James can study the individual’s present role in religion and religion’s present role in the individual.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Karl Marx And Emile Durkheim 's Theory Of Alienation Essay

- Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim are two great men of all time. Their knowledge and views on social issues have influence the development of sociology. This commentary will examine and contrast two theories - Marx’s theory of alienation and Durkheim’s theory of anomie and apply modern social issues to traditional sociological theory. Marx theory of alienation had embedded in social structure that was due to capitalism. He stated that, before the great transformation, the market was serving the society, people where connecting and communicating through the trading and barter system....   [tags: Sociology, Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim, Religion]

Better Essays
796 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about Emile Durkheim And Karl Marx

- Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx Throughout time, sociologists have studied our social behaviors and developed theories to explain such behaviors. Two of the most well-known sociologists are Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx. One of the most important thing that they have both studied that we have examined in class is capitalism and the division of labor, and how it affects the individual and the collective. Although their ideas were different, they each presented evidence to prove their theories about this topic....   [tags: Sociology, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Socialism]

Better Essays
914 words (2.6 pages)

Max Weber, Karl Marx And Emile Durkheim Essay

- Introduction Max Weber, Karl Marx, and Emile Durkheim are all part of a “holy trinity” of classical sociological interests. They all hold different beliefs and agreements, which ultimately end up being the social norms/ideas that they stand by. Ultimately, the different beliefs held by each sociologist, are based on their background and the different viewpoints they grew up around. Max Weber was raised by a tyrannical father creating a terrible life for him, but was very smart, which lead to Weber’s success and his belief in authority....   [tags: Sociology, Max Weber, Karl Marx, Capitalism]

Better Essays
711 words (2 pages)

Essay The Theory Of International Human Rights Law

- Throughout centuries we as a society have always had an unhealthy devotion to law, whether it be how it has been brought out, what is seen as being applicable as law, and how it provides a broad understanding of the law and kinship that is required to fully understand the different concepts and rituals that law provides. Many different sociologists and anthropologist have developed their own theories regarding how law is defined to them and more importantly how it’s power is distributed towards other members of society....   [tags: Sociology, Max Weber, Law, Karl Marx]

Better Essays
1442 words (4.1 pages)

Karl Marx, Durkheim, And Max Weber Essays

- Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber were all pioneers in the area of sociology. Individually, Marx, Durkheim, and Weber contributed to the shaping of sociology as a field. Each had differing ideologies and concepts that ranged from mortality to society, to love, and so forth. All three theorists came up with concepts that applied to the societies that they lived in, and still apply to our current society. Within this essay, Marx’s idea of alienation and how it affects social classes will be discussed....   [tags: Sociology, Karl Marx, Marxism, Max Weber]

Better Essays
719 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about Karl Marx, Max Weber And Emile Durkheim

- Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim all offered differing perspectives on the division of labor. Marx claims that the division of labor is motivated by the market. Weber claims that it developed through the industrious essence of the Protestant ethic. Durkheim claims it developed due to an increase in dynamic density. Each theorist argues that the division of labor impacts society using differing methods. The challenge is the management of attaching different values without causation of detriment to the system....   [tags: Sociology, Marxism, Émile Durkheim, Max Weber]

Better Essays
1653 words (4.7 pages)

Sociologist: Du Bois Concepts Essay

- Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim are without a doubt three of the most important theorist of all time. Their contribution to the world of sociology changed the minds of other theorist who followed behind them. One of these important theorists is known as W.E.B. Du Bois, the first American sociologist of religion, and great social theorist of race. Du Bois was a truly inspiring individual who did many great things throughout his lifetime. My focus is not only on explaining who Du Bois was as a person, but to compare and contrast his theories to that of Marx, Weber, and Durkheim....   [tags: black reconstruction, karl marx, max weber]

Better Essays
732 words (2.1 pages)

Karl Marx, Max Weber And Emile Durkheim Essay

- Living in a social world, it can only be expected that there will be multiple views on how a society should be run, how we as a society should behave, and how our societies should be represented. In learning about Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim, there are many different views and beliefs that can be used to view our social world. Although the three of these men believed in different things and had many different theories in regards to our social world, there are few similarities that can be expressed....   [tags: Sociology, Max Weber, Social class]

Better Essays
1079 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Durkheim 's Theory Of Sociology

- Social Glue in Sociology, that which forms the structure of society today, has many elements to its formation. Emile Durkheim, considered the 'Father of Sociology ' asked how society was possible rather than just how society had changed, which is Conflict Theorist and Sociologist, Max Webers ' theory in Sociology. Weber extended on theories of Sociologist Karl Marx. Durkheim described Social Cohesion, meaning a Unity of Masses that consists of a commonly shared moral or interest as one element of social glue that formed the structure of society today....   [tags: Sociology, Anthony Giddens, Karl Marx, Max Weber]

Better Essays
1141 words (3.3 pages)

Perspectives of Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx Essay

- Perspectives of Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were full of evolving social and economic ideas. These views of the social structure of urban society came about through the development of ideas taken from the past revolutions. As the Industrial Revolution progressed through out the world, so did the gap between the class structures. The development of a capitalist society was a very favorable goal for the upper class. By using advanced methods of production introduced by the Industrial Revolution, they were able to earn a substantial surplus by ruling the middle class....   [tags: Sociology Compare Contrast Essays]

Better Essays
1224 words (3.5 pages)