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2. Among general similarities between Durkheim's and Weber's scientific perspectives

Emile Durkheim and Max Weber are two from the greatest thinkers and philosophers of the Enlightenment, masters of sociology.

It is rather rarely that they are compared together, especially, throughout their intellectual similarities1.

Therefore, before the differ­ences between them will be finally presented, let us concentrate on the plane of Durkheim's and Weber's similarities. With regard to the limits of the paper's volume, let me only enumerate what S. Seidman has precisely described in his work [Seidman 1989]:
1 Usually Durkheim is said to be the hair of Spencer or Comte tradition, whereas We­ber is often compared with Marx's works. See the bibliography included in the paper.

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■ both were professional scientists (sociologists) in terms of being "the first generation of social thinkers [who] assumed chairs of so­ciology and wrote as sociologists". Let us only mention that: Emile Durkheim established the first European Chair of Sociology in Bor­deaux, then he taught at Sorbonne and Max Weber taught at the Universities of Berlin, Fribourg, Vienna.

■ both of them "understood sociology as a specialized discipline ra­ther than as a general theory of humanity" [Seidman 1989, p. 57] -both were concentrated on developing a new discipline and were seeking for appropriate tools for solving real social problems;

■ it was resulted in the fact that both were pioneers in sociological scientific research: both wrote research-oriented studies - Emile Durkheim Suicide was the first study in which quantitative data was used as a relevant support for sociological (descriptive, qualita­tive) explanations, as well as in Max Weber The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Therefore, their works sound even to­day and have been having a great impact on generations of sociolo­gists and "are still considered models of scientific sociology by many sociologists" [Seidman 1989, p. 57];

■ although Emile Durkheim and Max Weber were "convinced that social modernization promoted a liberal political society" [Seidman 1989, p. 71], both were against English-styled liberalism explained in terms of greed, competitiveness, egoism, blind pursuit for wel­fare and economical success with the money as an autotelic core value [Seidman 1989, p. 73]. Emile Durkheim promoted social sol­idarity as the base of human relations, and in the works of Max Weber, egoism, competitiveness and welfare were "soften" as goals of religiously oriented human activity;

■ both in their scientific works drew to religion as a social phenome­non, as a system deeply immersed in the social context, that is why both of them showed it "secularized" facet; both referred to the same confessions: Protestantism and Catholicism, however did in different manner, therefore the conclusions driven from their in­terpretations strongly differ; ■ Durkheim's and Weber's religious-oriented scientific perspectives should be seen as natural and understandable but modified, re­sponses on the modernity. Their reflections were evolved from a specific social and historical context (as from a kind of specific ma­trix) that was consisted of such categories like: the self, social or­der, social change, cohesion, moral development - as those seem to be the central ones. Emile Durkheim and Max Weber put them as the key words of their great narrations of the Enlightenment. Precise conclusion of Durkheim's and Weber's approaches gave S. Seidman, saying that they both "fully absorbed the concept of the so­cial character of humanity. Against the conventional wisdom of their time, Durkheim and Weber insist on the social formation of the self and his or her embeddedness in institutions and webs of cultural meaning" [Seidman 1989, p. 85]. Differences lay in its interpretations: in Emile Durkheim approach, "the individual [is] embedded in social institutions and emphasizes the importance of shared cultural beliefs and values as a condition of freedom and social unity", whereas Max Weber reflections also emphasized the cultural construction of the self ("cultural formation of individualistic") but this specific spirit was Protestantism as a "cultural phenomena" [Weber 1930/1992, p. 13] that engendered a specific eco­nomics system [Seidman 1989, p. 86].

In this light, the main problem of the paper: the social function of re­ligion in Durkheim's and Weber's works - took appropriate perspective.

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Источник: Девятых Сергей Юрьевич. Общество, культура, личность. Актуальные проблемы со­циально-гуманитарного знания. 2012

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